tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 23, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EST
principles guide our actions. in each case, we are guided by the principles and by the fact that the unrest, the demonstration by the people of these countries and their desire for greater political -- greater access to the political system and greater freedom, fuller rights, we support those aspirations of those people. we're not dictating outcomes. we are not telling the people of any country who their leaders should or should not be. that is up for the people of libya and egypt to decide. >> >> it is it fair to call this policy ad hoc, or ad-lib? >> there was a very clear set of
principles that? the -- that guides the policy. when you talk about what guides the policy arena, the ones that are not that hot are the ones that are guided by a broad set of principles, and not situation-specific or country- specific, which is not to say how we handle, react, or act proactively with regard to the country, is different, because we are looking for positive outcomes. >> you guys have a policy if this were to happen in jordan, saudi arabia -- you have plans for all of these different countries? >> i am not sure what you mean by plans, but without speculating on more -- on what might happen, our policy has
been consistent and would apply going forward. >> if there is a set the principles, why has the president chosen not to enunciate them for several days. the last statement was by you on friday. when the president comes out and makes a statement -- in the meantime, hundreds of people have been killed. why has he chosen not to enunciate those principles that you say are clear? >> i was merely a vehicle for that statement. the president puts out statements on paper. i happen to be on air force one. he will be either this afternoon or tomorrow on this issue. i think the secretary of state has been quite forcefully in her condemnation, as was the president on friday, and ambassador rice in new york at
the united nation. -- united nations. i do not think there is any misinterpretation. >> where you said about the americans on the ground, is that a key to keeping them say? >> the president is concerned about the safety of american citizens. there is no question. that is an important factor in any country. the circumstances of american citizens are different in each country. the protections they have might be different in one country. all of those factors are important in how we approach these situations and how the president looks at them. he is also extremely concerned and alarmed by the horrific violence and bloodshed that has happened in libya. we have made that clear. he will make that clear this afternoon or tomorrow.
>> there are now obviously various libyan officials that are leaving the government, and one has come forward to say that he believes he has evidence that muammar qaddafi ordered the pan am off -- ordered the pan am bombing. what does the administration make of those reports? are you doing anything to verify them? >> i do not have anything on that. we are focused retinol on the events that are happening in which we are focused right now on the events that are happening in libby -- we are focused right now on the events that are happening in libya, focused on bringing an end to bloodshed, and also the protection of american citizens. i do not have anything specifically for you on that. >> can look will be the determining factor of whether we hear from the president -- can
you tell us what will be the determining factor of whether we hear from the president today or tomorrow? >> this is a scheduling issue. president hu -- the president will meet with secretary of state clinton this afternoon. we will have something to say out of that meeting. if possible, the president will speak this afternoon or tomorrow. i assume we will have information on when that will happen fairly soon. >> might it be about u.s. diplomatic relations with libya? >> i will not speculate about what goes into decisions. i wanted you to know the present will be addressing this issue in the near future. >> on a government shutdown, is it the white house's believe there will not be a shutdown starting march 5? >> it is the president's belief, our belief, that the congress,
the congressional leaders, have said, and we have said, we believe there is the strong potential there for us to reach an agreement to avoid what you call the government shutdown. again, i would point you to comments made by the house and senate leaders, including the speaker of the house and the senate minority leader about their desire to avoid a shutdown. i think it is driven by the same reasoning that we adhere to, which is an outcome like a government shutdown would have harmful effects on our economy. it would set back our economic recovery. it would potentially reduce our growth, and reduce our job creation efforts. that is the focus this president
has every day. i believe there was a goldman sachs study that spelled out and analyze the potential impacts a government shutdown might have on the economy. we obviously, like the leaders of congress, want to avoid that, and we believe we can. >> is the white house involved in the negotiations on a new cr, a short term cr? >> we are very interested in talking with leaders of congress from both parties. the process is a congressional process, and the house has acted. the senate has to act. there are other steps that have to be decided between the house and the senate, but we are
certainly participating in the process, and, again, are optimistic that decisions could be made to resolve this without harmful effects to our economy. >> the charter to evacuate citizens from libya -- has that left yet? >> i would wait before, to the bat. >> are you waiting for the president? >> it is a scheduling issue. the safety of american citizens is obviously of concern to the president, as it should be. >> is that our feeling the libyans have been cooperative? >> actually, i can simply say that as you know, and as has been discussed, we have been
arranging the evacuation of american citizens, but beyond that, i am not going to comment on levels of cooperation. >> how much influence does the u.s. have with would be in opposition? -- libyan opposition? >> our position is to enunciate clear principles, and make it clear as we did in egypt and elsewhere that the drivers changed in these countries. this applies to libya. in this case, it is the people of libya. our principles are very clear. our position is there should not be any kind of use of violence on peaceful protesters. the legitimate aspirations of the people of libya should be
recognized and responded to, and that the universal rights of the libyan people need to be recognized and upheld. so, that is how i would answer that question. >> a couple more. the president's support of senator kerry's proposal? >> we are looking at a variety of options, including that one, in what would be effective in bringing the libyan government to the point where it will cease the violence and end the bloodshed, and stopped the incredibly of corinth actions it has taken against -- accordance actions it has taken against its own people. >> there is a report that says that hosni mubarak refused to take a phone call from president obama.
can you respond to that? >> i do not anything on that. >> american for a policy has not changed in the middle east at all? it is not changing? >> chuck, circumstances have changed dramatically, in many ways more in the last four or five weeks than they have in our adult lives. the principles that the president has enunciated, as far back to his speech in cairo, are the same principles that are guiding. >> we are in the midst of changing, reworking our middle east policy. >> i would say that the policy, the principles that guide the policy, and that guide our day- to-day decisions about how we handle these circumstances have not changed, and, in fact, if
you look at the speech, and the text of the speech the president delivered in cairo, you can find a clear lines you are hearing today. >> the difference is there are principles, and then there is how much you let the principles and type your policy. -- impact your policy. >> it is a strong influence. >> stronger now than six months ago? >> the circumstances have changed. what i would say about the circumstances in cairo is that they recognized the circumstance in the region, whereby there were a lot of people whose universal rights were not being respected, and that, as we said in other ways, could lead to unrest. stability in the region will come with reforms that recognize
the universal rights of people. >> our policy might change, for instance, in saudi arabia, because we will be emphasizing these principles of little bit more? >> i do not accept the premise. i think the principles have been consistent, and the decisions that policy makers have made have been guided by those principles throughout the process. >> can you tell us the interaction the present -- the white house is having right now? who is the white house is interacting with? >> i do not want to give you a play-by-play. i would direct it to the answer i gave to mark. we are interested in engaging. >> are you actively in negotiations? >> i would not characterize the conversations. if this is a process that needs to take place on capitol hill. >> can you describe the level of
involvement that the white house is in? >> i would point you to the public -- well, i observe these meetings, but no, we participate. you know about some of the meetings that have happened. i'm not going to come up here with a list of meetings that happened yesterday, or what happens tomorrow. the focuses on results. the focuses on coming to an agreement, and we do not believe that reading of every meeting. >> not every meeting, but could you characterize -- >> there have been meetings with republican leaders, senate democratic leaders -- we have been engaged in the process. >> thank you.
two questions. how much does the president worried about the flow of oil and the security of the egypt? -- the security of israel. >> our commitment to israel's security is unshakable. that is always a concern for us. and the issue of oil, we are monitoring oil prices very carefully, but i would not speculate about where they may go in the future. >> the president wants to india, and he announced by addressing the business council that thousands of jobs will be created here, in the u.s., and
the secretary of commerce was recently in india. what is happening as far as india-u.s. relations are concerned, especially on trade and commerce? >> we are obviously very committed to the commitments that were made, and to the importance of job creation here. that is helped by increased trade by -- with india, but i do not anything specifically. >> since your briefing began, west texas crude topped $100 a barrel. is this a matter of watching, or is there anything the u.s. can >> whenever there is unrest in this part of the world there will be reactions in the markets. beyond that, the situation is fluid.
i do not want to speculate about where prices will go, or any other potential things in the future, but we are obviously monitoring this carefully, and we are concerned about it, but we are just monitoring it. >> i have a question for you on the decision. what kind of decision are you expecting from congress, and what are you doing to prepare for that? >> i do not want to speculate about how members of congress might react. we have the attorney general statements and there is a notification that explains the course of action that is being taken. beyond that, i would not speculate. >> i have a statement from speaker john boehner's office -- while americans what office --
government to focus on jobs, the press and will have to explain why he is focused on this controversial issue that has proven to divide the nation." what is your response? >> the administration had no choice. they were under a court-imposed deadline. this case was unique in that it left the precedent on which to defend the defense of marriage act in a way this it administration had defended in previous cases. it therefore requires this decision on constitutionality, and we have to act because of the deadline. we are also heavily focused and committed on these key issues of economic growth and job creation, and we are now anticipating that this will move to the courts, and the courts will decide. meanwhile, we'll continue to focus on job creation, economic growth, and winning the future. >> will this decision apply to the four pending losses, or any lawsuit in the future? >> i would refer you -- i am not
a lawyer -- i would refer it to the justice department. my understanding is that because of the decision about the constitutionality and the position the administration is taking, and we will no longer defend going forward. we will, however, continue to enforce it, and we will continue to be participants in the cases to allow those cases to continue, be resolved, and also so that congress or members of congress can pursue the defense they so desire. >> is there any outcome at the district or appellate level that would cause the obama administration to volunteered discontinuing enforcement? >> you are asking me to speculate. i would note the president is obligated to enforce the law. >> so, and pours in a no-fly zone in libya is under active consideration? >> i will not get into specifics, but we are reviewing a variety of options with our
international partners to come tell, or persuade the government of libya to -- compel, or persuade the government of libya to seize this violence. >> can you give us any insight as to why this might be the all right course of action? >> the specific course of action? i am not going to. we are looking for specific courses of actions that produce the desired results, a end to bloodshed. >> when you look at the situations in the wisconsin, are the democratic members of those legislature's correct to simply leave the estate and not deal with the legislation on the floor? >> on the specific actions that members of different legislatures have taken, i will
not judge that from here, but i will say that there is nothing wrong with, as the president made clear in his interview with the wisconsin television station -- he firmly believes state governors and legislatures need to address their fiscal issues, just as he is working with congress to address fiscal problems of the federal level. his view is that it is important that everyone works together toward that goal. public sector employees have to tighten their belts, others have to tighten their belts, but this should not be an effort that goes after some of the fundamental rights of collective bargaining in the name of i think it is fair to say that the best outcomes will be what everyone sits at the table
executive branch, union members, and deals with this, so they can beat resolve, and states can get control of their budget, as we are trying to get control of our. >> this is happening in a number of states, you see this debate becoming more national? >> i will not speculate on his behalf for mind about where this debate is going. let me take on some folks i have not. >> thank you, jay. following up on the question about libyan opposition, this does the administration have a dialogue either through back channels or more public with any of the international opposition or expatriate groups there have been speaking out against colonel muammar qaddafi -- kernel muammar gaddafi over the last several years? >> i did not cabinet thing that my level, but perhaps the state
department does. >> on pakistan, how concerned is the president with this the presidential visit to pakistan ever placed in question by the situation? >> i will simply state that our position is the same bed was -- same as it was, we believe that every country has the responsibility to honor the provisions of that treaty, and that is our starting point in dealing with this issue, and we will continue to be focused on a resolution that results in pakistan honoring the diplomatic community status of the individual and his return home.
savannah? >> two things. does the u.s. believe they have any leverage over mark duffy -- muammar gaddafi? >> the united states believes the most effective action will be taken in a united way by the united states with its international powers -- partners. that will have, hopefully, the most significant impact on the behavior of the libyan government. we're working very closely with our allies and our partners in the international community in examining a multi-lateral and actions, as well as bilateral actions that will bring about the kind of results we think are absolutely necessary. >> why has the president not spoken out on libya until now? >> i would direct you on -- to what i said before, which is the present has issued a statement in his words.
>> will a statement have equal impact of being on camera? >> i will say that the president will speak directly about this either today or tomorrow. >> does the nature of the muammar gaddafi regime limit to what the united states could do bahrain the bloodshed, bahr the articulation of u.s. principles? >> plus, it is not about individual leaders. is about the principles that guide our position. we insist that the bloodshed end, together with many other countries. we insist that the universal rights of the libyan people be recognized, and respected, and we believe that for libya, as well as other countries, reforms
need to be taken to respond to the aspirations that have been voiced so profoundly by the libyans and other people in the region. again, it is not about personality. it is about the people of these individual countries. >> are oil prices a factor in formulating these positions? >> i would say simply that our position has to do with the absolute necessity to end the bloodshed, with the need to recognize the universal rights of the citizens of libya, and the need to protect american citizens. let's go all the way back. >> i understand the president will meet next week --
[unintelligible] >> i did not understand the question appeared >> we understand the president will meet with mexican president felipe calderon. can you talk about the reason for the meeting? >> the president is committed to the strong relationships they added states has with mexico. that is the reason for the meeting. we commend the mexican people as they confront the issues. it is a vital and important relationship with and an important ally. >> what is the date? >> i do not have that for you, but maybe i can get a specific. i have not done anyone standing.
>> when you say reviewing options with international partners, are you talking about nato as an entity, and nato partners in particular? >> i was referring to the detonation security council, i think, but we are consulting with international partners about different things we can do to effect the change we think is necessary. >> when we discussed the no fly zone, with nato, as an organization, which has been used in the past -- >> i did not have anything specific. yes, sir record >> how would the white house rate the performance of ken feinberg? >> in the wake of the unprecedented oil spill, the president worked to secure a $20 billion fund that would be used to pay claims in the administered by a third party. ken feinberg was appointed to
manage that process by bp. administration has communicated the concerns we have had, and has publicly urged the gulf coast claims facility to take a number of steps to improve the process. for more on that, i would point you to a filing that the justice department made in the last day or two. >> in a note, they say a cold the united states is not in a position to comment than any specific claims. call why will the justice department or the obama administration not say why ken feinberg is doing a good job, bad job, or somewhere in the middle? >> i would point to the department of justice who is administering debt and to the document that they file. >> -- the facts, and see the document that they file. -- to that and to the
document they file. >> i know you said it is not about the person when it comes to libya, but does the president believed that muammar qaddafi -- muammar gaddafi can continue to lead libya, and what does this say to other countries if he were able to remain in power? >> i would point to the fact that this is not about individual leaders, not about personalities, and our position has never been with regard to libya or any other country that is been effected byunrest and peaceful demonstrations that we should be selecting the leaders, or deciding who can or cannot lead a country. the processes what is important. the respect for universal rights -- the ability for people in these countries to participate in a political process in a democratic way, and to have their voices heard, and through
the process, to enhance the possibility for prosperity and economic growth in their country. so, again, it is not about individual leaders part >> if your position shifts at some point, do you believe that would be in a unified sense with other countries? >> i will not speculate, but our position has been uniform and clear with regard to all of these countries. on the right of sam. i do not know your name. sorry. >> jerry. >> jerry, nice to see you. >> you about when the principals, and what the president expects. does the president see this with any overarching factors? are there any starting factors that the president sees to credit for this unrest? >> a starting point would be the
speech in cairo, which clearly recognize the need and called on the countries in the region to respond to, with reforms, the democratic aspirations of the people in the region. on the outside, i would note that the change as come about in this -- con el kai reed, i would note the change has come about quadi, i would note that the changes come about has been a repudiation of the death and destruction. this has been a peaceful change, that is really unfolded in stark contrast to the methods of terrorist organizations. >> the president is going to the
united kingdom. will he be in chicago on the 16th? >> is that a trick question? >> is the president plans to be in chicago for mayor rahm emanuel? >> i did not elena kagan this schedule. >> did he call him? >> he did call him, and he congratulated him on his victory. i believe the present put out a statement. the president put out a statement -- the president put out a statement. >> he asked for a starting point of all of the unrest, and you said the president of the speech in cairo was a starting point. >> no, i was saying it was the starting point to understand our policy toward the region, and the unres t we have seen.
>> how closely as the press and fall in the situations in wisconsin and has he been in contact with the national labor leaders? >> he is aware of what is happening, but i do not anything more on that. >> one more all the way in the back. >> the small business form that the president attended yesterday -- the president expressed tand interest for something called angel investors. is the president considering new initiatives in this area as a part of a small business package? >> i think what the president was reflecting was his interest -- startup america is an indication of his interest in just this, which is vehicles by
which the government can assist the efforts by larger companies or investors to invest in smaller companies to speed up the process of growth, job creation, and innovation. i think start america is a good indication of how -- startup america is a good indication of how important he views the role of small business and innovative businesses have been growing the economy and creating the industries we need to compete in the 21st century. at the forum yesterday, it was clear that the kind of small businesses that were represented there, in cleveland, where exactly the kinds of -- were exactly the kinds of businesses that will drive not just job creation, because we on the small businesses are the engine of economic growth, but
innovation, creativity, which is exactly what we need in the coming century. thank you very much. i appreciate it. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> jay carney starting the briefing with a couple of questions about the administration pulled the decisions to no longer defend the constitutionality of the federal law that bans the cost -- the recognition of same-sex marriage -- the marriage act. it is possible we will hear about libya either today or tomorrow. the state department said sanctions an asset freezes are two steps that might be taken with response to the of violence. more about the middle east later this afternoon. then newly appointed governor of
tunisia's central bank will be talking about all role of the nrest.y in the wave of ui he will also talk about the potential economic impact. as live, today, at 3:30 p.m. eastern. primetime gets kicked off a couple of congressman. we have jim cooper, and then at 9:25, newly-inducted paul gosar. >> you are watching c-span. every morning it is "washington journal" connecting it with elected officials, and policy- makers. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends it can see our
signature to interview programs. on saturdays," the communicators." you can also watch our programming anytime a c-span.org , and it is all searchable at our video library. c-span, washington, your way, the public service created by america's cable companies. >> constitutional scholars and john eastman and erwin chemerinsky faced off in los angeles. the two talked about the constitution. the library foundation of los angeles host of the discussion. -- hosted a discussion. >> good evening, and welcome. i'm the president of the library foundation, and we are very, very happy to have you here this
evening. i just said that there were people rehearsing their questions. [laughter] this is a very good sign. we have people who would like to answer them. there is an opportunity coming up in march, which i would like all of you who are los angeles residents to participate in, which is a chance to vote for measure l on march 8, which is an opportunity that we have to restore the full service of the public library, which as many of you now was cut back. without introducing new taxes, i am very happy to say, it can be restored by voting yes on march
8. please do that. would mean a great deal to all of us carry i cannot mention anything more important than having the 73 public libraries open to the public. one-quarter of the population in los angeles does not own a computer, and a large number of people have old computers that do not have the bandwidth for children to do their homework. it is impossible to graduate from high school in los angeles without getting access to a computer we have, for free, waiting for those students, almost 3000 computers. every student in los angeles with a library card can have a free tutor at the expense of the library foundation seven days a week from 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon until 5:00 p.m. that night. [laughter] [applause] >> it is incredible, and it is
available in english and in spanish. a live human being, a college professor, a graduate who was there to tutor our children. this program is free to the public. you also know this is a live it -- largest research library and the west. we like to think that one of the reasons why you are here, and why our guests are here this evening is because they value the importance of having a library like that in their community. much of what happens in this series will not have happened without my colleague. without further ado, the founder of this series, a woman who has produced more than 1000 free programs for the people of los angeles. [laughter] -- [applause] >> thank you so much. and i do hope you will vote yes
on measure l. tonight, we are presenting a conversation between two callers of constitutional law with a dramatically different views of constitutional life. all i know in advance is that they disagree about essentially everything, but i have been assured they have never come to fisticuffs, and a model the possibility of graciousness and civil conversation. if they do are brought to into a skirmish, we have a wonderful moderator in jim newton on hand. please turn off your cell phone spirit we will open up to questions. we will circulate microphones. notice, we will open up for questions, and not rants. please, ask a question, and ask one question. that would be great.
our very distinguished guests -- irwin shymanski is the founding dean at the end university of california irvine school of law. he continues to believe lot is the most powerful tool for social change. is the author of the leading textbook on constitutional law. his book, which we are celebrating tonight, will also be on sale by the library store afterwards, if you would like to purchase it. he has argued several cases before the supreme court and various circuits of the supreme court. we are honored to have hinson night, as we are to have dr. john eastman. he was dean from 2007 until senhorita of 2010, when he stepped -- stepped down to pursue a bid to become attorney
general of california. he was appointed dean in june, 2007. he served as the director for constitutional jurisprudence, and he also serves for the federal society of separation of powers practice group. the moderator is jim newton, who is editor at large of "the los angeles times." in his 21 years he has worked as a editor, bureau chief, and a reporter, and is currently editor of the editorial pages. he is the author of a critically-acclaimed best selling the biography, and he is finishing a presidential biography of dwight d. eisenhower, which we hope will be published this year.
please join me in welcoming jim newton, erwin chemerinsky, and john eastman. thank you. [applause] >> good evening. my name is jim newton. welcome. it is a special treat to have my call panelists here. as noted, these are two eminent constitutional scholars to disagree about everything in the constitution care -- constitution. i would like to admit that i am not completely neutral. my biography is entitled justice for all. it is safe to say that if i were forced to write on justice scalia, i would not give it the same title. [laughter] that said, i will do my best not to gang up. >> i was looking at who was not
applauding that line. no i have some allies in a row. -- in their room. >> one thing i admire about both of these gentlemen is to disagree agreeably, and have as a " conversation ^ -- civil conversation. erwin chemerinsky, give us a sense of what constitutes the conservative assault, and how was the difference then how what some would describe as the liberal assault on the constitution? >> it is an honor to be with these individuals. i know no one writes better than jim newton. john eastman is very much my role model in terms of the nadine, an activist, a scholar, and always an incredibly simple person. i believe since richard nixon ran for president in 1968, conservatives have sought to
remake almost every area of constitutional law, and largely succeeded. when we focus tonight on individual liberties, or the rights of criminal defendants, where the separation of church and state, or specific areas like church and schools, you can see that the conservatives have succeeded, and they are guided not by the original understanding of the constitution, but by the principles of the republican platform. i think you can far better understand what the conservatives are doing on the supreme court, by reading the republican platform than by reading the federalist papers. it is not the decision is conservative, the most part, and it is not that every decision dramatically changes the law, but overall, with what the supreme court has done, there has been a pre-crash in the basic constitutional principles. >> and john, tell my he is
wrong. >> the language of the book takes as a background principle something that comes -- conservative constitutional scholars reject, which is that we believe the constitution has meaning on its own. for it to be an assault, they are objecting to some of the moves away from the text, making things up to make new constitutional law. we say it is an assault on what conservative jurists think is the constitution put all meaning. he disagrees. before i give it back to them, thank you for being here, and to jim for having me, particularly because i would have trouble getting through the hole but if we have not had to do this. [laughter]
>> it is a bit on characteristic for erwin chemerinsky. normally, his writings are scholarly, and this one is much more political. i think we will talk about that during the course of the evening. >> can i say a couple of things? this book is really a reflection of what i have been doing for the last 30 years. each of the chapters start with a story about is that i handled, except for the one that begins with the story of my father's death. in that sense, i would not use the word political, as it is my view of what has happened in constitutional law in human terms. every justice that has been on the supreme court follows the text of the constitution where it is clear. the problem is the questions that come to the supreme court cannot be answered by the text. the president has to be 35 years old. that issue has never been
litigated. each state's two senators. that has never been litigated. there is a story that begins with a man named leal andrade. he received a sentence under california's three strikes law, even though he had never committed a violent felony. the eighth amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. what is cruel and unusual punishment? the text cannot tell us that. he is a choice that has to be made. it is the supreme court that said for a century that grossly excessive sentences violate the constitution. the argument i made is that anything is grossly excessive is 50 years-to-life, for stealing
$150 worth of video tapes. i lost that decision. as a result, andrati is not eligible for parole until the year 2047, when he will be 86 years old. how can we get to the point where there is not unusual -- cruel and unusual punishment? >> that case is a good example of where i think the book is not entirely accurate. it is not accurate of the law, and on the facts. he says at one point in the book that the people that voted for three strikes -- there is no indication whatsoever that they had any indication that a nonviolent third strike could lead to the third strike penalty. that is just not true. it was in the ballot stage both by the analysis, and by the opponents that specifically said this will lead to incarceration for a very long time by people
whose third strike is not a violent felony or a serious felony. i was here. i remember the conversations petted the people then decided to do this, and it is not for stealing $150 worth of video tapes, but for having done that after having a series of violent or serious felonies. the question is whether the people of the state gets to impose a sentence that tries to put repeat offenders with to be will prior felonies, serious or violent felonies, huawei -- with two prior felonies, serious or violent felonies, away. the question is whether the constitution prevents the people from doing that. we have had this notion that grossly disproportionate crime punishment violative the cruel and unusual punishment. the case he cites goes back to 1910. there, it was somebody that was
actually sentenced to hard labor, painful and hard labor, with shackles 24 hours a day. the supreme court said that was an unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. subsequent cases have said there is no proportionality requirement in the wake of the sentence itself. if while you are there, we will shaklee 24 hours a day, that all of a sudden is cruel, but just the length of the sentence was a legislative judgment. . had held that repeatedly and reaffirmed that in andrati. prior to the three strikes law, no one had received a sentence of life in prison where the last offense was shoplifting. in california, there are 47,000
people serving life sentences under the three strikes law. half the states in the country have three strikes law, and altogether they have 10,000 people. all those in california, 57% of the third strike was not serious or violent. when we talk about the specifics, we have to put that in that context. it is unique to california. john is wrong about one thing he says about the law. the supreme court had said there is no requirement to the proportionality of the crime. justices thomas and scalia have taken that position, but the supreme court has never said that. the supreme court said it was cruel and unusual punishment to give a person of life without parole for passing a bad check worth $100. the facts from my case were remarkably identical.
my point here is that the supreme court has to make a choice for the text does not tell us. the framework did not discuss the three strikes law. there has to be a choice made. there is no meaning of the constitution to be discovered. in the choice that was made by these conservative justices, elected. -- every area of constitutional law, is imposing cuts attrition -- conservative values. in area after area, they have made constitutional law. >> one of the notions as widely debated on the court today is the question of original ism, and whether it is a useful or valid tool for useful interpretation appeared what is your view? >> i think it is not perfect, but it is the best we have. without it, we are left with a court deciding what they think ought to be the law, rather than
what it is. hit transfers power from the electorate, we, the people, to the unelected branch of politics of years ago i published a piece in one of the harvard law journal's, going through the various different theories that might give court's authority to strike down pronouncements and acts of legislature that are most directly representative of the people. it is not because it violates the text of the constitution. the one theory we have largely rejected his that there is a natural higher law that binds. we have rejected that notion as the basis. another theory is that the judges are smarter than the rest of us, or maybe institutionally they have the ability, because their job gives them the time to think through these problems. if that is essentially creating a federal common law that we rejected. every one of the different alternatives that you come up
with ends up where the judges are substituting their judgment for the acts of the majority because they think it is better policy. when you deviate from the text of the constitution, what confines the judges from getting that right or getting that wrong? why should they have the final say, rather than the people as the ultimate sovereign? >> if there is a counter- majoritarian view that we need the courts to stop majority tyranny, and i am all in favor of that. every time we expand certain rights, as if we were to say that the people of california could not impose that sentence on him, we are necessarily contracting the rights of the property owners whose rights he violated by robbing and committing burglaries. to take that policy judgment away from the people and hand them to win an elected judiciary
is the great problem with the so-called living constitution. >> respond, and as you do, tell us if originalism is not a valid tool, does that leave judges the authority to do anything at all? >> sure. several points about originalism. first of the conservatives follow it only one answer is ideological agenda. let me give you an example. i am skeptical that we can ever know what the framework is. his there is any place that we can, it is that the framers of the 14th amendment very much approved what we would call affirmative-action debate. so many things they adopted or race-conscious policies, yet justices scalia and thomas paine no attention in their condemning of affirmative action. last year, a decision held that
corporations have the right to spend limitless amounts in the campaigns. the five conservatives on the court did this. i challenge anyone to find anything in the original understanding that protected corp. free speech rights, let alone the right to spend unlimited amounts of money. secondly, in most instances, we will not be able to know what the original intention was apparent that we take the second amendment. it takes a well-regulated militia, and people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. you might focus on the first, or the second. it is really about a right for militias. you look for understanding. james madison drafted the second amendment. his first draft included an exemption from malicious service from conscientious -- militia
service from conscientious objectors. there are strong arguments on the other side. is it surprising that the conservatives who favor gun rights find the understanding to beat for gun rights, and the liberals that do not, find it for militias? i can related personal example, and it is where i got to work with jim. i was the chair of the elected los angeles charter reform commission. it creates the entities of the city government than divides power among the branches and includes individual rights. almost as soon as it was adopted, questions came up about interpretation, things we thought about. the mayor's office, the city attorney's office called me, they still do, saying, "what is the intent of your commission on this?" if they agree, they say, "will
you write a declaration that says that," and if they disagree, they keep going to another commissioner until they get the position -- [laughter] if we really followed the original intent -- constitution was written in the late 18th century. article two of the constitution puts the president and vice president with the pronoun "he." there is no doubt that the understanding of the constitution was that the president and vice president would be men. that means that it is unconstitutional for the president to be a woman unless we amend the constitution. the 14th amendment is only about states cannot deny equal protection. if we follow the original understanding, then the federal government is not limited by the requirement of equal protection. the bill of rights, the most the
fundamental rights we have come only applied to the federal government not go now to answer your question -- only apply to the federal government. it now to add to your question. they start with the tax and they canceled the original understanding, they look at -- the look at that -- they start with the tax and consulting the original understanding. you cannot reason for promises deductive lead to answers -- conservative cases like citizens united or liberal ones like roe v. wade. the power of the courts to review the constitutionality of the statutes of executive action is nowhere mentioned in the text of the constitution. it was not explicitly discussed at the constitutional
convention. it comes from montgomery vs. madison in 18 03. -- marbury v. madison in 1803. >> i take a different view. [laughter] let me start with the last one, because i don't think it is accurate. the discussion of the judicial review is part of the constitutional convention. there is an entire debate about whether to give the courts the power to strike at legislation they disagreed with on policy grounds at. during the course of that debate, which they rejected his power of revision in the courts, it was discussed that they would obviously be able to strike it down as unconstitutional. the question on the revision discussion was whether they would also have the power to act as legislators if they disagree on the policy. the convention is physically denied that power to the court per out when we move away from the constitutional text and give them a policy judgment that we think this is better for
society, not because it violates a provision of the constitution but because it is bad policy, they are doing the very thing that the constitutional convention denied to them. it transfers power from an elected body to an unelected body in derogation of our most basic principles of democratic government. are there any goodies about what a particular text meant? yes -- ambiguities about what a particular text meant? yes. but to say it does not matter whether it's this or not, this is what the law ought to be and as a judge i am going to impose it, that is no longer a legitimate role for the court's. >> does anyone do that? that seems like a bit of a straw man. >> they do, i will give you a bad example. in planned parenthood -- i will
give you a good example. in planned parenthood v. casey -- it is difficult to find in the original roe any tie to the text. you get to planned parenthood v. casey and we end up with a statement, the three-judge opinion there, that says even if roe was wrongly decided and illegitimate as a matter of constitutional law, the absence of our constitutional system of government is the power given to the courts, not the elected branches. that is an astounding rejection of the basic premise of our constitution, and yet it is right there blatant in planned parenthood v. casey. roe is the most extraordinary assertion of raw power ever asserted by the court. >> it is my turn to say i disagree. [laughter]
john has said that when courts strike down at laws, they are being at by tartarian -- and majoritarian. enforcing the document is by definition anti-majoritarian. conservatives and liberals want to be anti-majoritarian, they just disagree where. the conservatives will strike down a federal and state and local laws regulating guns. the conservatives are willing to strike on affirmative action programs. all that is anti-majoritarian. it is just that they are following conservative and use. centcom i will disagree with john -- second, i will disagree with john -- no judge or justice considers himself a policy maker. every judge or justice interprets the text of the constitution using all of the
sources i mentioned, starting with the original understanding, precedent, tradition, the social needs. there is a way to say that the constitution requires the judges make policy choices. the fourth amendment provides an unreasonable searches and seizures. every day -- in gramick preven -- prevents unreasonable searches and seizures. every day in " around the country, judges have to decide what is reasonable and unreasonable. they are making a policy choice. when the suit in court deals with individual liberties or discrimination, there is no absolute right or prohibition, but there is of the fundamental right, discrimination against racial minority -- the court has to decide is that there is a compelling governmental interest. is there an important government interest? what is compelling, important -- that is a policy choice the
court has to make. i disagree with having john said with regard to abortion and casey. i think roe v wade was a well reasoned. the supreme court has said that there is a right to privacy protected in the constitution read the court found in many instances prior the right to marry, appropriate, custody of one's children, -- procreate, custody of one's children, the use of contraceptives. in light of all of the prior decisions, this prohibition of abortion infringe the right to privacy? i think the court said yes in light of those preside -- precedents. does the state have a compelling interest in protective -- protect of fetal life? the choice should be left to
each woman. that is what roe v. wade is all about. i think the most eloquent was justice robert jackson in the west virginia board of education v. barnett, where the state cannot require students to salute the flag. he said the whole purpose of individual rights of the constitution is to take the most precious liberties and out of the vicissitudes of popular, majoritarian will. that is all casey was saying, roe v. wade takes the issue of abortion prior to viability of the fetus outside of the constitutional majority, because it is deemed to be right. >> erwin says in his book more clearly than any scholar i have seen that the key question with regard to abortion context -- "who should determine whether the fetus before viability is a
human person, each woman for herself or the state legislature?" i think that is the rub of the question. if you accept the premise that we get to define away prison guard, who qualifies as a person and who does not, -- define away personhood, who qualifies as a person and it does not come at you are making the same argument about slaves that the south made. a legislative judgment, not what the courts to decide for us, reminds us of libbin's at inaugural address, and if we take the court as the last word on basic questions of how we define ourselves as a people, we will cease at that extend to be a democratic form of government and hand over those basic policy judgments to the unelected branch. when it is not tied to any texter whatsoever in the constitution, as that case was not, you are asking judges to
make it is a policy judgment for this society. it is just not true that there is not a consensus about when a unique life is created. modern science has proven that time and time again. we all know we have a dna at the moment of conception. the question is whether it is human life is subject to protection under the constitution. the constitution is simply does not answer that question. to pretend that it does is the height of judicial activism, contrary to any our original understanding or any text. they cannot find which clause is in but we don't know if it is in the first amendment or fourth amendment or the 19th. it is from the penumbras of all of them collectively together. if i cannot even point to the right and and and, at the notion that it is rooted in constitutionalism rather than the judge disagreeing with the policy judgments made by the people, i think is a weak argument.
>> do you accepted the constitutional right to privacy aside from abortion? >> i do, i also accepted the right to liberty, but it does not extend it to swigging that i go through his nose rather than stopping scheider at. > -- stopping shy of it. i was given the different routes on which a court and strike down an active majority even if it was not part of the text of the constitution, i laid out the proposition that there was a natural law, natural right. both sides of the abortion debate make appeals to the higher law authority that is not grounded in the text. you can easily spin a roe v. wade argument going in the other direction with the same kind of reasoning, except that the unborn child, a fetus from the
moment of conception, is unique in its dna, therefore it is a person protected under the constitution and any laws that allow for abortion would be a violation of that person's constitutional rights. you can easily spin out an argument that is no more credit in the constitution's text than the actual holding of roe was, and what that means is that you have two different arguments about hire a political authority. we have had the site throughout our constitutional history. in the 17 nineties, in a famous case, the court fight over whether if we recognize that there is a natural law or natural rights not grounded in the text of the constitution, should we enforce it, what gives the courts the right to enforce its? the disagreement between the justices parallels the one right now. justices scalia -- right now between justices scalia and
thomas on the question. it is interesting to line up there, that one of the ways we understand the nine men met is that it is codifying the higher at w principle -- codifying the higher law principle. it is unlike the and more diversions we have now brought -- the unmoored versions we have right now. >> he says is that the right to privacy and under the ninth amendment is that we prefer the liberty of the process clause of the 14th amendment long recognized by this court. the supreme court was interpreted the word liberty as safeguarding many rights that are not enumerated in the text, and night would give a long list of those. this goes back to early in the 20 that century. what the court says in roe, like so many other cases, is that the
body includes a right to privacy. if you accept that, and to laws that prohibit abortion in french a woman's right to privacy? -- infringe a woman's right to privacy? the court in justice black's opinion talked-about burdens of on one of pregnancy, that it is ngement of the right to privacy. the court is making what john calls the policy choice. it is unavoidable. i think what the court said is completely right, that scientists, theologians, ethicists cannot answer the question of when human personhood it begins. there is a profound burden on a woman to keep a fetus in her
body against her will, we should leave it to each woman to make about my ability. i think it is misleading to compare it woman's choice about abortion to whether slaves are entitled to protection under the constitution. [applause] >> let me go back to that. the statement in your book is that it should be up to a woman to determine whether a fetus is a human being knocked out the old slave owners argued that it should be up to them to determine whether their slaves were human beings are property. i think the argument is directly powerball - -- parallel -- [applause] >> let me ask a more political question. there have been two changes on the court since president obama took office, sonia sotomayor and elena kagan, a moderately liberal justices.
the partisan balance has shifted somewhat, obviously. what does it bode for the court going forward? how significant is the 2012 election for imagining the composition of the court going forward? you want to go first, erwin? >> i think the 2004 election was crucial in determining the ideological direction of the court for a long time to come to my guess is that john and i will agree. >> but that on your calendar. [laughter] >> had al gore won the presidency -- al gore did would the presidency -- [laughter] [applause] the ideological balance of the court would be totally different today. george bush got to replace saturday o'connor with john roberts and samuel alito.
i think the sonia sotomayor will be as liberal as any justice on the court. i don't think we know enough about elena kagan's philosophy to know where she will be on the ideological continuum. we know less about her ideology that any nominee to the supreme court since sandra day o'connor in 1981. every appointee had been a federal court of appeals judge for some time and a judge for a long time. kagan had never been a judge on any court before going to the supreme court. that is not disqualifying. many judges brothroughout history had ever been a judge on any court -- brandeis, warren, rehnquist -- but the fact that she had never been a judge means that we don't have access to her prior opinions in judicial philosophy great shot dead five major law review articles, and none of them -- she authored
five major law review articles, and none of them said anything but to delet -- none of them said anything particularly controversial. as a result, i don't think we can know where she will be on the ideological continuum. to answer your question most directly, look at the other side of the ideological continuum. john roberts turned 56 last month in january knocked out if he remains a -- john roberts turned 56 last month in january. samuel little turned 61 on april 1 of this year -- samueal alito will turn 61 on april 1 of this year. and and and scalia and anthony kennedy are 74. the best guarantee of a long life span is to be confirmed to
the supreme court. [laughter] if not of them leave between , this willuary 2013 be it through the second, term. -- second, term. >> the impact of the 2004 election was to perpetuate the balance that was there. it moved it a little bit right. it is safe to say that justice alito is a little more conservative than justice o'connor. >> second thing we agree on an. >> the results of the 2008 election locked in that status quo with younger versions of the stevens and souter. we can predict with greater certainty where justice kagan will end op-ed th -- will end up than erwin said.
i knew her at the university of chicago -- not her judicial philosophy, but her life philosophy, and i think she will manifest that. she and adjust the sotomayor will easily -- and justice sotomayor will easily fit into what stevens and souter vacated. >> would you have a voted to confirm alito and roberts and would you on sotomayor naand kagan? >> the reality is that these are not moderate conservatives. when you talk about john roberts and samuel alito, they are everything conservatives hope for and liberals feared. when you put them together with that in and scalia and clarence thomas, the other four most conservative justices of the
court than any time -- they are the four most conservative justices of the court than anytime since the 1920's. >> by that standard, i should have voted against sotomayor and kagan. i probably would have voted for sotomayor, even though i disagree with her, but that is the deference to the president. i think i would have voted against kagan. i don't think she had the level of experience necessary, and it is not just that she lacked judicial experience and. a share -- i share erwin's sentiment that that is not a prerequisite. but they all had a wonderful experience, extensive experience, either in the law practice itself or much more extensive experience like felix frankfurter, the court. justice kagan had none of that. that should have been at
disqualifying test on objective criteria. i have a high regard for her intellect, but one wants to see one or the other kinds of experience before you put them into a life-tenured position in the highest judicial office in the land. >> you argue against law school and qualify? -- being qualifying? [laughter] >> not against a loss will be in qualifying. -- law school p.m. qualifying perio. >> on the obama health care law, questions about congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. i assume we all agree that this is headed to the united states supreme court. any thoughts on how we will dispose of it? >> i think the supreme court will uphold the federal health- care law. the last supreme court case to
deal with the scope of congres'' power among the states was at six years ago. the court said the congress could decriminalize marijuana for limited amounts of use. congress could regulate almost a trillion dollar industry. the supreme court said since 1937 that congress can regulate economic activities that taken cumulatively have substantial effect on interstate commerce. the injured industry is an $860 billion industry -- the insurance industry is in $860 billion industry. imagine if congress decided it would tax each individual to go into a fund for health care.
doubt at all that that is constitutional. everybody -- no doubt at all that is constitution not know everybody will need health care at some point in his life. if a person is in an automobile accident, they take them to the local emergency room. what congress has basically done is say that you have to pay that money in through the income tax unless you want to opt out and buy your own health insurance. i don't see what the difference is there. there is a terrific piece in sunny's "l.a. times" by a il law professor that explains why it is so likely that the supreme court, even a conservative court, will this constitutional. >> i think it is a much closer question and that. erwin, you talked in a phrase that is critical, that this might be possible if it were an income tax and we just use part of the proceeds to pay for the
health-care system. but it is not an income tax, it is not tied to your income, and it is not top -- not an excise tax. it is a direct tax. it is one of reasons they did not selling as the tax when it went through congress, because if it was a direct tax it would be unconstitutional. there was a promise made, as i recall, that this was not going to be a tax. because of the way it is structured, it is not a constitutionally permissible tax, and that it means we are without it being a tax. this the power to regulate commerce among the states, even expansively interpreted in the new deal and picked up in the medical marijuana case to regulate things in the economy that a substantial effect on interstate commerce -- cannot
force me to make you engage in congress? can i make -- can add that forced me to make you engaged in commerce? there will be four solid votes to say that it is unconstitutional. i think justice kennedy will go towards the unconstitutional side rather than the constitutional side. >> anything more? >> sure. so many things -- [laughter] johns as congress cannot force people to engage in economic activity and that the commerce clause. that is just wrong. think about the 1964 civil rights act. telling restaurants they cannot discriminate based on race. that forces people to engage in economic activity. when you look at health insurance overall and weather
people buy it or they don't, is there a substantial effect on interstate commerce? i think here it is going to be much more lopsided vote in favor. in gonzales, just as billy was in the majority is saying that congress in its -- scalia was in the majority saying that congress may prohibit someone from growing marijuana for personal consumption. just received an endowed chair. i will take you and your wife out to dinner if scalia deems it is constitutional. >> i will ask you one more, and then we will call on you. another issue, probably, although not necessarily surely
down for the supreme court, is that of same-sex marriage. again, i am curious of your predictions. the court held that the equal protection clause prohibited states from banning interracial marriage. does that same rationale inevitably apply to same-sex marriage? >> let me start with where john and i agree. 5-4 decision, justice kennedy in the majority. we disagree on the result. 5-4 with the court holding that there is the right for gays and lesbians to marry. in 1996, and lawrence v. texas in 2003 -- do you know wrote the majority for both of them? justice kennedy. justice kennedy has never
taken the originalist approach that john outlines to date. in lawrence he talked about how western nation was providing private, consensual sex activity. he said that it was cruel and unusual punishment to impose a sentence for life without parole for crimes committed by juveniles. justice kennedy emphasized that there is no country in the world that would do this. 2005, he wrote that the death penalty for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishments, and that there are only a few countries that do that and none of them are grouped together under the human rights perspective. canada has long recognized marriage equality, mexico city does, predominantly catholic countries to. i think justice kennedy will say
that there is no legitimate interest in prohibiting gays and lesbians from expressing love and commitment and a disappointment in marriage that heterosexuals have always s had. [laughter] >> the common ground is that justice kennedy is the deciding vote, that it is hard to read those cases and not think that he is predisposed to go in the direction just described. the supreme court addressed this issue and a very cursory form in 1972 after teh race marriage case, five years after it, and the identical claim by a couple in minnesota was brought, raising due process and equal protection claims. the minnesota supreme court said that was different. the relevance of your skin color to the purposes of marriage is not relevant, but the relevance of gender to the purposes of marriage, at least one of which
was preparation, was relevant. -- one of which was procreation, was relevant. the supreme court dismissed it is not presenting a valid federal question. that is a ruling on the merits of that claim. it is binding on all of the lower courts pratt judge walker's decision does not even imagine the case. will haveing doubthat justice anthony kennedy and me in my direction was precedent -- it is up for us to say that it is finally under mind, not you all. there will be this "what are you doing," jumping the gun atmosphere on the court. at the notion that this does not pass rational basis review -- erwin said there is no legitimate governmental interests.
the lowest level of review we have requires that we reject all the possible grounds for distinguishing between heterosexual and a same-sex couples with respect to any of the purposes of marriage. if appropriation is one of the purposes of marriage, as it has always been -- if procreation is one of the purposes of marriage, as it has always been, there is always a rational basis for drawing that distinction that is why i was strongly critical of the massachusetts decision that says it does not pass rational basis review. the california supreme court decision, although i disagree with it, was more fundamentally honest in saying that this a fundamental right. those things give us a heightened scrutiny and it is much are due to pass classification under heightened scrutiny, and therefore they it struck it down. that was more intellectually honest. i fear that what justice kennedy will do is say that we will continue to apply rational basis review and we will not conceive
of any legitimate governmental purpose for making this classification. but i think there are parts of it judge walker's opinion that -- they form part of the record that go to justice kennedy that says procreation has never really been part of the purpose for marriage. we never mandated that you prove your capability, because think of what an invasion of privacy that would be, but the notion that it was never part of the purpose of marriage is just false. getting justice kennedy leaning back -- it is the overheated rhetoric in that opinion that says things that are just so preposterously a false. >> it will not be based on the 1972 dismissal without any opinion whatsoever. the reality is, what everyone
thinks about marriage equality is so vastly different today than what was thought up in 1972. i i stand by judge walker did not -- i understand my justice walker did not pay attention to a 1972 dismissal. i still understand what legitimate interest in the state has in keeping the two men or women who want to marry from being able to do so. the only one that john mentioned is procreation. heterosexual couples have been able to marry even if they cannot or do not want to procreate. more to the point, the couples and lesbian couples will -- gay couples and lesbian couples will procreate, through adoption and artificial insemination. are those children better off if their parents are married it as opposed to on.
? if one believes that marriage provides stability of fort children, there is no legitimate basis for preventing gay and lesbian couples from mar andrying. [applause] >> with that, we would love to hear from you. what we get a microphone out here? -- weigel we get a microphone out here? who else? microphone't we get a out here? who else? >> thank you for a fantastic discussion. i love this stuff. there are a couple of cases out in that a third that deal with religion. how do you think the court as it is currently constituted will deal with issues such as the national prayer breakfast, "under god" in the pledge of allegiance? al will they deal with those types of issues? >> there is an area in erwin's
book that i do agree with it. [laughter] the court is about to take a wrong step in a religion case, but it is not about religion at. they will deny standing to anyone to challenge the religious displays that they think of violate the constitution. we are probably an agreement that they will go that way in the arizona case now, standing doctrine is very technical and complicated. the court has adopted the view that unless you have a particularized injury different in kind from the rest of the citizenry, you don't get to bring the case. i think that is flat out fal andse and erwin shares my view on that -- flat out false and erwin shares might you on that. on the merits of the case, and erwin and i will quit agreeing
and disagree up again, there is much broader authority from the founders' view of the first amendment to support religion at the state and local level that we have recognized in recent years. >> we will agree on something else in terms of the direction of the court. when the supreme court in 1947 set the establishment clause applied to state and local governments, all nine justices agreed to that, and all nine justices subscribed to the metaphor point by thomas jefferson that there should be a wall of separation between church and state high an impregnable. if the supreme art becomes steadily more conservative, the justices step further and further away from that. with alito replacing o'connor and having roberts and scalia and kennedy already there, there are five justices on the court
rejecting the notion of separation between church and state, five who take the position that the government violates the astonishment was only that literally establishes a church of course is religious participation. we will disagree over whether that is good or bad, but we agree that that is where the court is likely to be. to me that is deeply distressing, because i think when the government becomes aligned with the religion or religions, inevitably people feel coerced. when the government is aligned with a religion or religions, some are made to feel insiders and some are made to feel outsiders. when the government becomes aligned with the religion, religion is also in jeopardy as well as individual conscience, and that is where john and i would disagree. >> but i see in what erwin just said that there may not be a majority to go in that direction. he talks about the psychological coercion that is implied.
psychological coercion is the issue on which justice kennedy did not join with the other conservatives in the eighth grade graduation prayer case, where he found no actual conversion, but they are eighth graders and they felt like allegedly coerced. i could see justice kennedy is spinning off and then saying that given the dynamic in our culture, if you are required to view the symbols of the majority religion, you are psychologically coerced to go along, and that is not the separation of the church and state view, that is the old coercion the that we all agree on. justice kennedy on many of these things will be in the center and i can see him right on the cost of that issue -- cusp of that issue. >> could you please shed some light on the practice of refusal on the supreme court? -- recusal on the supreme court? >> or lack thereof?
[laughter] >> again, i think we will agree on what the rules are. each justice gets to decide for him or herself whether to be reduced -- recused. >> the statute that applies to other justices does not apply to the supreme court justice. >> i think that is a terrible practice. i don't think any judge should be a judge of himself or herself. we need to create a practice where we rotate panels of a justice's as a motion for refusal. -- recusal. and we should have a practice where we allow retired justices to fill in when a justice is recused. this term, elena kagan is recused from about 1/a third of the cases because she was solicitor general last year
and represents the government to the supreme court. that creates the possibility of an extraordinarily large number of 4-4 split, were the lower court is affirmed but without any abandoned -- any opinion. we have four living former justices, justices souter, stevens, o'connor. why not allow them to come back to prevent a 4-4 split? senator leahy has proposed this and i think it would be a good solution. >> it would be nice if we could pass a rule that would not take effect for 20 years. i looked at and the odds that -- souter and stevens are pretty bad for my side. i do not want to go for that. if it was scalia and thomas
in retirement five years from now, the other side would go in the direction. the justices being the final word and only word on their own recusal is a problem. but the justices could sell heavily with the chief justice and the clerk of the core -- consult heavily with the chief justice and the clerk of the court. they do get feedback. it is not as formal as we see at the lower courts. it is not as bad as erwin described in practice, but i would be in favor of a panel of other judges making that determination. normally, you want to require recusal and the justices have recused themselves from the outcome. ideological stakes? no. justice ginsburg was the general counsel for one of the abortion -- >> head of women's rights at the
aclu. >> that ideological conflict would exclude her from every abortion case. i don't think that should happen. similarly, that justice scalia has given a speech to a group with an ideological view it should not exclude him. if there is a financial interest, that is with the line is getting drawn to this day. but what qualifies as a financial stake? let the other justices decide. >> thanks. my question is regarding corporations that repeatedly violate human rights laws and environmental laws if they are viewed as a person, why are they not also subject to three strikes? [laughter] [applause] >> this will put you in an awkward situation, erwin. [laughter]
>> one of the things we put in the book was that your i lost 5- 4 -- the same year i lost 5-4, i was representing at hamlet that died as a result of the ford bronco rollover -- representing a family that died ofas a result of the ford bronco oliver. they did not put in rollover bars, at the top roof was 5- foot glass, guaranteeing an accident. the jury after reviewing the accident reported money in damages, and the court said it would be manslaughter if it were done under criminal law. the supreme court handed down a case that limited punitive damages as a matter of constitutional validity, and the california court of appeals reduced the $285 million to $24
million, which is a lot, but to call your client and say, "i lost, we've got $24 million now talks i the one to be cynical, $24 lost, you've got million now." i don't want to be cynical, but to many prison years for shoplifting does not violate the constitution? that is what the court is saying. the law is very inconsistent as to when corporations are persons are not persons. the supreme court has never found that corporations that free-speech rights until 1978, and then apply that to to 2010 that they have the rights to spend money in campaigns that individuals to. they don't have that protection against self-incrimination, they don't have the right to privacy under the fourth amendment.
there are inconsistencies as to when corporations are and are not persons. the federal statute, the alien tort statute, creates the ability to sue those who violate norms of international law. this is where the issue really comes up. >> by the way, were you on contingency on that punitive damages -- [laughter] >> these are all pro bono. >> you could have funded the tired uc irvine a law school with that thfee. this is not only driven by the conservatives. scalia has been most vocal in objecting to the punitive damages award, because it is made up. there is nothing in the constitution about what those steps should be or if punitive
exceeds double digits, nine times compensatory damages but not 10 times -- none of that is in the constitution, and scalia has been consistent in opposing that. there are provisions in the constitution that raise serious concerns in my mind about unlimited punitive damages, because they are similar li tigation matters, not criminal, and punishment not just for the conduct for this individual, but punishment to make sure they don't do that kind of conduct again. normally when we impose punishment we do it through criminal law, where the burden of proof is much higher than in civil law. to allow for unfettered punitive damages, saying that you can be punished into oblivion, a mere per hundreds of evidence when it normally such a punishment can only be meted out by proved beyond a reasonable doubt -- if the evidence in the ford case
show that they had been derelict to such a degree that they were subject to manslaughter charges, let the district attorney -- i kind of met him on the last campaign trail -- let the district attorney bring charges of manslaughter. >> but, john, where is your deference to the process you talked about earlier? until 1996, and no punitive damage award had been declared unconstitutional. many states adopted a laws limiting punitive damages. if you want to be deferring to the process, why not say it is the legislature limiting damages, not the constitution ? >> i will, that is why i cited scalia. >> thank you for a wonderful program. do you think that if you have
at domestic terror acts performed by muslim organizations, the court made up old law -- may uphold laws against muslim organizations and individuals much like i will war ii against japanese-americans? >> erwin and i will disagree vehemently on this issue, but i think the singular accomplishment of the last eight years since 9/11 is that we have not engaged in the wholesale infringement of liberties such as occurred after pearl harbor with the internment of japanese americans. we have not rounded up muslim americans in the united states and put them in internment camps. there is a huge dispute over whether the more surgical things that have been done also violated liberty beyond the constitution, and he and i disagree vehemently on that.
but it is fair to say that there has not been the kind of a grand scale -- i don't expect we will see the kind of grand scale that occurred in world war ii. >> another area of agreement, we totally disagree on this. [laughter] john is right that the government has not been turned -- not interned 110,000 people like and it will war ii, but to say that there's not been horrible invasion of human rights is just wrong. just focus on guantanamo. hundreds of people have been held there since 2002 who never got a meaningful hearing. i had been representing a man who has been there since the spring of 2002, almost nine years now, longer than world war ii, world war i, the civil war.
he never had a trial, never had a meaningful factual hearing. during the last years of the bush administration, so far as we know for the first time in american history, the united states government systematically designed and implemented a policy of torture. you only need to read jane mayer's book "the dark side" to see that the bush administration engaged in massive, unconstitutional, illegal eavesdropping. in terms of the supreme court, they have a mixed record as of corpo -- mixed record so far. there was a case that held that american citizens could be criminally punished for advising foreign groups on how to use the united nations and international law for resolution of disputes or how to apply humanitarian assistance. just a speech of that sort
could be deemed to be material assistance to a terrorist organization. maybe one of the most important civil liberties in the war on v. al-qed.shcroftt he was apprehended after september 11 and held as a material witness, held in solitary confinement, literally shackled, it never convicted or accused of any crime. he was placed on home arrest. the material witness statute allows individuals to be held as material witnesses if the testimony is essential and there is no other way to achieve it. the united states court of appeals on the ninth circuit, opinion written by an appointee of george w. bush, said that it was never the intention of the united states government to use him as a material witness. they are trying to hold him under this statute for investigation, and that violates the constitution. the supreme court has granted a
review and we will see what they do in the next few months. >> if i would take up all points on the war on terror, we would have an entire other form. it is true that this war has lasted longer than any other war in our history. not yet -- vietnam was longer. but it is not sure that it is unprecedented that we have help people with -- out here not -- not true that it is unprecedented that we tell people for a long periods without a hearing or a trial. this war is different and it may require us to think about the question differently. we don't have an asian state as an enemy, we don't know how the war will -- don't have a nation as an enemy and we don't know how the war will end. but it is not true that we have to hold a hearing or trial told
combatants during war. we've always done that. the unique nature of this war or forcing us to rethink the role is a question, but it is not unprecedented. unless while they are being detained as a prisoner, we discovered the of up vio eight -- they have violated a law. but this of all the attention of them as a combatant does not require a trial. >> never before has the united states and all american citizens -- held american citizens without trial. >> that is not true. abraham lincoln did, of franklin roosevelt did. >> you are the last one. >> my wife and i are grandparents of two children of a homosexual couple.
my observation is that they can screw up their children as well as a heterosexual couple, and that seems like a marriage equality to me. [laughter] now question. you are asking a judge to make judgments, and it seems that none of them can help making decisions that lead to policy decisions. >> what you think? -- what do you think? >> i think a constitution provides a more limited, confi ned where they can provide a judgment than erwin does. i give a much less a free- wheeling, amorphous reading of the broader causes of the constitution that he does. >> i think he does it in different areas.
he is it willing to have it judges a sick feeling authority to strike out affirmative action assert free- wheeling authority to strike and affirmative action laws. he wants the court to strike down a laws just as much as liberals want them to break conservatives and liberals disagree aware. liberals do not hide that they want to do this. conservatives pretend they are doing is something else. it is amazing arrogance posing as modesty. [applause] >> the three examples erwin gave involve the free-speech clause of the first amendment, text,second amendment, and equal protection clause, text. when i moved from that to say
that this is in the ninth amendment, which does not have any text, all of a sudden i am unmoored from the text. that is the difference. >> every decision by every justice is grounded in the text. >> with that, we will turn it over to a erwin for the last word in a moment. let me just say, thank you to the two of you. [applause] this is proof that it is possible to have a spirited conversation and eight civil want the same time -- a civil one at the same time. >> i want to thank jim and john. please vote for the proposition on march 8. >> erwin will be signing books in the lobby.
please join him out there. >> several questions about how the supreme court would deal with a marriage. the president obama is grappling with his own personal views with kim marriage to stop defending the constitutionality of game marriage. the president is meeting this afternoon with secretary of state henry clinton on libya. it is possible we will hear comments from the president. we will keep you posted. at 3:30, we will take you to a discussion about the role of the
tunisian economy and the wave of the unrest sweeping the middle east. the central bank governor will also talk about the potential impact on the region's economy. that is coming up at 3:30 on c- span. in the meantime, a discussion about a job creation. jane oates has had responsibility of helping to stimulate job growth and prepare american workers for the new economy. we saw the unemployment numbers takedown just a little. there is so much analysis at what is behind them. there is too much unemployment right now. what does the administration see as the prospect for sectors for parts of the country, and begin to turn those numbers around? guest: certainly, we have seen positive signs already, with the
gdp and unemployment numbers going down. however, job creation numbers to not seem to be going up. we are not getting positive trends month to month, although clearly we have had private sector job gains. the administration sees certain signs of real promise. the manufacturing sector. everybody in the country believes manufacturing is dead. manufacturing is alive and well. the problem is, and the president spoke about this in cleveland, places that used to employ thousands of people, because of technology, now just need a few hundred. those few hundred cannot just be those people from the last century that worked hard and made money. they now need to be able to have technology skills and communication skills that are different so that is one of our biggest challenges. clearly, one of the sectors that remains hardest pressed is construction.
host: the numbers for real- estate this week were really don think about housing prices continue to fall. prospects for construction workers do not seem to be good in the months ahead. guest: the construction industry is one industry, even when they are underemployed, unemployed, they really take advantage of that time to upgrade their skills. we have seen a number of apprenticeship programs really using this time to bring their members back and teaching them about new technology. i think when a construction comes back, these workers will be able to hit the ground running with state-of-the-art building technology. host: two demographic sector that are particularly challenged, young workers, 25% unemployment rate, and under 25. will you talk about the
challenges for those groups in the workforce? guest: for young workers, the numbers are disturbing. these are young people who are trying to set their life in the workforce. they are not getting the chance. the jobs that they normally dependent on are being taken by dislocated workers who are overqualified for them, but employers are taking in vantage, as they should come up of getting people with better qualifications. that number is worse if you aggregate by race. young people of color have really been slammed during this recession. it is a good time for employers to think about bringing on young workers, but at the same time, you bring up the other group that has been hit hard, those older workers. many folks are saying that an older worker -- they are describing it as 50, which scares me. they need to upgrade their skills, particularly, around technology.
we hope many of them are taking a advantage of what i described with the construction industry. they are taking computer classes, making sure they are more facile when some of the new technology, taking advantage of this time to upgrade their skills. when they walk into an employer, they are not seen as an old worker. they are seen instead as a proven worker with new, 21st century skills. host: we have added a new phone line to those of you in the discussion, those of you in the job market. if you want to call us and tell us about your experience looking for a job. with regard to the programs the administration has put forward, some came from the stimulus act, and others are programs to the labor department, working hand in hand with states. there has been criticisms about the complexity and oversight of
such programs. there is so much bureaucracy involved, aid does not get involved to the prospective workers. what is your own view of the need to simplify the programs available to people looking for jobs? guest: we are sensitive to that criticism and trying all the time to think about ways where we could work across the avenues, here in washington, to simplify things coming out of our cabinet offices for workers and businesses alike. in the last two years, we have made a big effort making sure a dislocated workers who are eligible for pell grants know about that. we have made significant progress in making sure that children are aware they have a johnson city -- job subsidy help
available to them. so i think we are trying to simplify. it is difficult to get money directly to people and be accountable, and make sure all the checks and balances are in place. it is not as easy at this -- as it seems and say, go get good training. the need to have good training, have it be allied with job opportunities in their area, make sure the trainer they are choosing has a track record of giving high-quality training that will get them that job with the employer. none of those things come easy. so it does require some kind of system that may look complicated from the outside, but it is there to protect taxpayers' money. host: to illustrate the secretary's point about greater productivity, companies do more with less, "usa today" has that
-- it talks about one bank branch in orlando. they write - - guest: i think we are going to see more of that. when we went to get money from the bank, all we saw was the teller. i have not seen a teller in years. i go to the atm. those deficiencies to take away jobs. you apply that with every industry and you see we have fewer jobs in the older sectors,
but we also have to keep watching the sector that are on the growth spiral. while some people make fun of things like clean jobs, quite frankly, those are sectors producing bring new jobs in areas where we never had workers before. not as many as we let, but we need to keep our finger on that polls as well. host: you brought along a chart looking at employment changes in major industry since 2009. to the right are the jobs in thousands that are produced. construction, the hardest hit, losing 192,000. on the right side our job creation. business and professional services and education and health services are two of the highest increases. what is behind that? guest: health care has been the most resilient sector during the recession and recovery. they have created jobs every month. i think that is directly aligned
with the aging of our population. those of us who are 50-plus code to more than one doctor usually. and we are living longer, so therefore, jobs and health care sector, especially assisted living facilities, are continuing to boom the professional and business services is interesting to watch. again, at the cleveland summit as today on jobs, we have the opportunity to hear from a number of businesses who were taking back jobs that had been outsourced overseas before. it was interesting to hear those backroom i.t. functions. in the 1990's and early 2000's, it always went to foreign countries. data storage, data management, call centers, those kinds of jobs are coming back. with the right i.t. skills, it can pay a family-support and salary. host: the president takes a hit
their skills improves the that they can get a better job next time. those who are highly skilled, especially in the financial sector, who never thought they would be employed. you're starting to see it in government numbers. permit employees never thought they would lose their job. and this is not talking about federal bureaucrats. we are talking about firemen, policemen, teachers. the second thing is, the president has a multi-pronged attack here. before we talk to people who are unemployed and try to fit into jobs in the local area, he has to understand, businesses create jobs. the federal government does not. we tried to do everything we can to work with people. but in other cases, we work so that the big misses are not completely tied up in red tape. making it simpler for them to grow and do business in the country.
i was not at the first seven stops the article referenced. i was there yesterday i think all the capt. people and staff understood clearly -- cabinet people and staff understood clearly what was our job in terms of job placement and job training. those things will be helpful for people were -- looking for jobs. host: next phone call for jane oates is mount pleasant, texas. craig is a democrat. caller: thank you for the work you do. when i realize in this economic climate, the department of labor is probably getting more flak than they deserve, as is customary. thank you for the work you do. guest: thank you very much. caller: my pleasure. i am a college senior here. i am going to graduate and i look to join the teaching ranks
in texas. i am noticing, not only in texas, but throughout the state, the legislature is a severe threat to the budget, in the education field, primarily, teachers. i wonder if you have any information from the department of labor, your thoughts on this development, what it means for teachers in the future? guest: susan will think this is a set up. i started my career as a teacher. i thought i'd grade in philadelphia and boston. i do not think you could have made a better choice. we are going to see some bumps in the road and school districts have to deal with reduced budgets from the state and local revenue, but especially new teachers have tremendous opportunities to do things, like to during. many people go to large public school districts, many people work at private schools, but
there are lots of opportunities. if you are not able to get a job right out of school, please do not go into publishing or anything else. do not leave the teaching ranks. we need you. it is so nice to hear young men going into teaching. it is important that we show our young people a balance. those of you thinking about teaching, one thing i can tell you, the more you study math and science, the better your opportunities will be. across the nation, we are seeing mckenzie's for teachers in the hard sciences, from middle school to high school, also english as discussed -- second language, and special education. we still see many districts with openings in those areas. if you have a chance, maybe in summer school, you can take a couple of courses in those areas if you have not already, to help your chances to get hired. host: anaheim.
steve. good morning. caller: the problem i have noticed with education or retraining programs is they are cutting back so much out here, but you cannot get to a place to get retraining. what is your department doing to solve that problem? guest: thank you, steve. we are to actually try to do more with less. we are trying to put more money out into the field in competitive grants to supplement some of the training dollars that come to the formula funding. clearly, we do not have a say over how much money we get in our annual appropriation. that is a congressional decision. and a congressional matter that is being heavily debated now. we are trying to do more with lower price, higher quality training providers so that we can get a bigger bang for our
buck. certainly, we share your concern with 4.5 and the plymouth seekers with every employer out there, we feel the opportunity to give every one of those seekers the best tools they can have to move forward. i wish i had a printing press. host: michigan. martin. republican line. caller: i have a question. there are a couple of interesting issues that i have number one, -- that i have. number one, with what is happening in the manufacturing industry, you just said one out of five people are applying for teachers' jobs. this is the same thing happening to our manufacturing industry. is anybody doing any investigation to find out why they are doing that?
number two, what do they do with the people that are out of the unemployment 99 weeks? especially the older folks that are headed towards retirement. we have two, three years that we can really work. people will not work at us because there are so many 20, 30, 40-year-old heating up those one out of five jobs. -- eating up those one out of five jobs. if you could respond and perhaps do something about it, thank you. guest: first of all, the best thing to do -- and i keep repeating the same thing. make sure that you, as a older worker, have modern skills that you can bring up to an employer as you move to that interview and application phase. i think there are lots of ways to do that. some people across the country have gone back into training.
some people tell me when they are an older worker, they are not going to back to community college or training, but there is plenty of short-term training that can show to a prospective employer that you are motivated, relevant, and you have skills that are state-of- the-art. other people are telling me that they are taking the time to volunteer. they are proving by volunteering that they have the kind of people skills that are important, and every employer tells us that. there are few jobs where you do not need to have good people skills. in terms of the lean manufacturing peace, you in michigan have seen the rebirth of a lean and mean auto manufacturing community, but you have also seen the rebirth of industries like lithium batteries. i think those are new areas where we will have new jobs, but it points to another issue. some of you, probably like you,
martin, have skills that could translate into you started your own business. i think that these are lessons that we will find after the recession, that that really builds the american ingenuity into business. think about services that you could provide to the existing businesses in your community, or to citizens in your community, that you might be able to start a business on your own. if you go to your local one stop -- we can connect you with the people at the small business administration who are the experts in that. i think a lot of older workers are realizing the skills and talents they have could put themselves into and on to the north's role, just the way as a reed-employed workers. host: you talk about the complexity of the jobs. this story talks about the cost.
little is known about the effectiveness of the program because have vowed not have a performance review since 2004 and only five that had a study to determine whether job-seekers in the program do better than those who do not to dissipate. how do you measure effectiveness? guest: it is my teaching background who will give away what i am here today, but actually the employment and training administration has begun a gold standard evaluation of the workforce investment system. that is a random assignment system where threat the country we have a number of people who get services of the one stop, we tried them for three years, and the number of people who did not. we will be able to tell congress in three years -- and we will have preliminary information in between -- of the belly of that
-- of the belly of that investment in the workforce system. i have a world-class about which team outside, and not employed by the federal government. we knew early on with the discussions on the hill, this is a vulnerability point for us. we are prepared for it. i wish somebody had thought of it before so we had something to show you today, but i am sure if you invite me back in 2012, we will have something. host: we have been spending most of the morning talking about the budget protests in ohio and in other places. a tweet -- guest: you know, i do not know that the secretary has a role in that. i think the secretary has not been shy about other things that have happened. i think what we would like to do is make sure all of us feel the
same way. we do not have inside details. but from the external details we are getting from the press, from the anecdotal, all the unions kind of offered to pay their health insurance and their pensions. they agreed to the reductions. now it looks like it is just about the right to collective bargaining. it would not be a surprise to anybody in your audience that we believe wholeheartedly in the department of labor about the right of collective bargaining. i have not talked to the secretary about this, so i cannot speak on her behalf, but the rest of us are watching this to see if there is a role. for eta, at least, there is not able today. host: joe on the independent line. caller: there was one thing that
i wanted to ask but then i came up with 15 others. the main reason i called is the unemployment numbers. anecdotally, my friends and i in the construction industry, who are now out of work -- i am in the residential construction. i do not have to tell you what happened to that business. i am over 50. it is the only trade i really know. i have been out of work for two years. i transplanted from illinois. my network of employers willing to hire me -- i have to start all over to build that that park. the numbers you see on television is always hovering just under 10%. what are the real numbers? if you are going to say there is no real measure of the real numbers, i would like to know, once people's unemployment benefits run out, which mine did, are you still counted? if you are on welfare and have
not had a job in years, are you counted? and another thing is small businesses. you are saying to this other dumb and that was over 50 that he could take his skills and start a small business. well, in this economy, to start a small business -- first of all, you would be competing with another small business, and everyone agrees competition is great for business, but two small businesses in the same niche to prosper is doubly hard in this economy. it is so anti-logical. host: let me ask you a question. with your prospects not being so good in construction, what are your plans to find gainful employment? guest: luckily, my fiancee has
an excellent job and i have been sponging off of her. i live in a rural area. with fuel prices going up, my runs into madison to fill out applications -- i have started developing that skill, routing myself to save fuel and hit as many businesses as possible. like a lot of people in my position, it is daunting and it is discouraging when an ad goes in the paper advertising a position, you sit down in the office to fill out the application, and in the 15 minutes it takes to fill out the application, there are 10, 15 people coming in, grabbing applications and walking out the door. the fact that i am over 50, i am sure, discourages employers because -- especially in
physical labor -- i am a cement person by trade -- it is guest: well, it would be irresponsible for me to not say how sorry i am. i hear the frustration in your voice, and i hear from people all the time. the fact that you have been unemployed for two years is really unfair. in terms of the real unemployment numbers, there are several things we do. we do model on those collecting unemployment insurance. clearly, they are the population that we capture most effectively. we also do household survey data that asked people in survey- style whether they are employed, seeking employment, part-time employed and looking for a full-
time or whether they are unemployed. i never think the model is 100% accurate, so clearly there are people we are missing. we are always looking to make sure the number we're representing to the american people is as accurate as possible. i am sorry that you did not , wasthe entrepreneur worshishp worthy, but i think it is import we talk about all of the options that are out there. i was in misery a few months ago, and a man has started a business changing the bottom of the pain can when you paint your house. it is always a nightmare. he started a recycling company that changes the leftover paint into soil additives.
and a year into the business he has 10 employees. and while they are small stories, and a total kind of ideas, i hope it is enough to give some people another option, because i think it really is depressing when you're in filling out applications watching 15 other people come in that will be your competition. host: this is a pessimistic view dwindle on twitter -- guest: i disagree without wholeheartedly. even in the manufacturing area where we have seen the socks and underwear move to foreign countries, we have replaced it with high-level manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and there are clearly some industries that are going to go away and never come back. i do not see the south
rebuilding on textile manufacturing any time in the near future, but i do see them building on some of the things i have seen in manufacturing in the area of solar panels and small wind turbines, lithium battery, which is so complicated was seven or eight different parts that have to be put in. i think the manufacturing story that people are not telling accurately and not actually talking about is the new manufacturing jobs that are clean and good paying and high- tech. i think all the jobs that we have in the mining industries, those are not going anywhere else. some of the jobs, as i said, of the ones we are bringing back, are really wants to watch. even though you hear people breaking their arms over the weekend and x-ray being read in india, i am sure that will continue to happen, but clearly
no one will give you your flu shot in any work your backyard. host: next call is a democrat from texas. caller: forgive my voice, i am a little under the weather right now. i am 60-years-old and have been employed for 20 years. my son works for me. we have at least 20 independent contractors that work for us. right now my business is down 20%, and has been that low for three years. being self-employed, we do not qualify for unemployment and we have never gotten it, so we just arrived the best we can. the problem i have here in texas is we have to have insurance. we have to be insured. we have to go by the dot
regulations, and we have people standing on corners for home depot and stuff that will work for $4.50 dollars per hour. no one is doing nothing about them. -- that will work for $4 or $5. also, i have a daughter that is 16-years-old. i remember when i got out of school, you could always go to mcdonald's or one of these places and find a job. these jobs here in texas are now being filled by illegal immigrants that are down here working, and no one is doing anything about it. host: illegal immigration is the same there. there. theme guest: i think it is hard to illegalout the socia
immigrants because to get the job they had to supply a social security card. it is very hard to tell who is an illegal immigrant, just as our parents work or who is not my first question would be do not jump to conclusions. i think lots of folks who did not plan on working who were working only in their homes are now coming out and taking a lot of those jobs at mcdonald's, and it did not to have the same kind of english skills as a woman who went to work. a lot of times you see immigrants who have been here for a long time but the homemaker was their primary job and now they have to go out to augment that. second of all, over regulation is a point that states and governments are grappling with right now. i know that we as part of this administration are looking all of our laws
that are out of date and unnecessary, just there because it has always been there. i do not know enough about what governor perry is doing in texas. i work very closely with his work force people, and i know how bad you they are to us as a partner. i am sure he is doing the same thing, looking at texas regulation to see if there's anything that can be done to remove any unnecessary burdens. host: of you were earlier asking about the real unemployment numbers. -- a viewer earlier asking about the real unemployment numbers. here they are -- here is a voice from the other side of this issue, marco rubio. the senator from florida. let's listen. >> the stimulus bill because
government does not create private sector jobs. u.s. senators do not create jobs. regulatory agencies do not create jobs. jobs are created by everyday people to expand a business or start a business. host: do you disagree with him? guest: i think we say the same things. we do not create jobs, but the federal government needs to be on all look for what is coming. they cannot just worry about today, but they have to look into the future to look at the industries that are promising. host: we have this tweet -- unemployment for older workers is an issue. in terms of tools, this is something that your office offers. it is called "my skills, my future." guest: this is a great tool we
developed based on o net. it is the gold standard of information sectors about jobs, but it is really hard to navigate. it is mostly by resources, and very well-educated people. we saw people wanted something that was quick and could get them information. literally put in your zip code and your last job, and you will get real time links to jobs in your area. for instance, if you were working in an industry that no longer exists, the software would match your skills to other industries that have job vacancies in your area. we hope people will take a look at it. we think it is user friendly, relatively easy to use, and we think it is pretty effective. we launched it on labor day at 2010. we have had over 1 million hits,
and people saying about 15 minutes. this is pills -- these are people actually using it. we do not have a service or can i give you the outcome data, but i can say that people get in touch with me saying it is easy and feel like it is a benefit, because we of a partnership with the library and they know how to use it. you could use it from any computer. clearly they have made outrageous to community colleges and libraries so that people who do not have a home computer would know where they can have access at a greater our point. host: it is my skillsmyfuture.org. they also have a number that is on your screen --
next telephone call is from dallas. this is rick who is an independent. good morning, you are on the air. caller: yes, ma'am. i am in the construction trade. i am 32-years-old. might illegal laborers get up and go to work every morning while i stay home and look for a job. -- my illegal neighbors get up and go to work every morning while i stay home and look for a job. i broke my neck in 2000 and had surgery and was treated terrible from the state on workman's comp. guest: can you afford to work at the price they are charging? caller: no, i cannot. they work for pennies on the dollar. with that. t compet
compete with that. my son tried to get a job at mcdonald's and it would not hire him because he did not speak spanish. we have to do something about these eagles taking our jobs. i cannot even support my family. i am lucky my wife has been supporting me. enough is enough. how much are we supposed to take of these illegals coming over here in taking our jobs and trashing our neighborhoods? host: i'm going to stop you at that point. another question about illegal immigration. guest: this is the second call from texas on this issue. i have a regional office in dallas, something we will talk about with them. again, i can agree with the calller -- i cannot agree with the calller. i think it is hard to find and documented.
you probably know more about them than i do, so i will not question that, but remember, it an undocumented worker is working, they're paying into social security they will never get. it is not like they are taking advantage of the system. i would like to focus on your job. i think it is very hard for independent contractors. i hope that you will really look at something -- subbing for the contractors that are there. there are no two ways around this. we to put on the screen the number of job losses in the construction trade since 2009, 192,000. it is pretty much frightening to see that. we have lost almost 2 million jobs during the course of this recession and recovery in construction, so it is an industry that is really hurting.
whether you are employed by an employer or self-employed, you are still welcome to come to the public workforce system. and dallas has a great one stop where there might be opportunities for you to go there and translate not only your construction skills, but your business skills into another opportunity that at least could be short-term while you are waiting. i do not want to ask you to leave your first love of construction, but sometimes we have to take an intermediary job just to keep the lights on. they can be a big help in getting you something that will really capitalize on your business skills. we would be happy to see you in any of those dallas one stops. host: i do not know if you can help this person named dirty water on twitter. guest: i think -- personally, i
do not know where you live. the first thing i would suggest if you are applying for jobs is you get another e-mail account. employers often ask for an e- mail, and people have less than professional names on their e- mails. employer sing dirty water may not think -- seeing dirty water may not think highly. and i think they're high-paying three jobs. -- green jobs. if you do not want to go into the physical job of manufacturing where there are several solar >> we are going to take you live now to the carnegie endowment for international peace.
this afternoon, there will be talking about the country's impact on the global economy and the broader middle east. live coverage getting underway here on c-span. >> also joining us is masood ahmed who is the director of the middle east and central asia region at the international monetary fund. you have mustapha nabli's and sosood ahmed's bios with you, i will not say very much. on a personal note, these are two friends of mine of quite long vintage now, for many years, at the world bank. also, i have the greatest
respect for them in tall respects, but in terms of -- [laughter] as economists. especially in terms of their superb understanding of the region. very few people in the world have the expertise and knowledge that the two gentlemen on my right have on the middle east and north africa, which does not mean they get exempt. a little under two months ago, masood ahmed and i work on this panel discussing the prospects of the middle east and north africa. my conclusion at the end of it was it sounds like it is going
to be business as usual for many years to come. so, therefore, anything you hear especially from me today, it take with a great pinch of salt. again, let me welcome you. we will start this way. i will ask a series of questions. i am going to start with tunisia. then i am going to move to the region. then i am going to move to the world, the implications for the world. i have a series of questions. i am going to alternate between our two panelists. then we hope to have about a half hour at the end of this for questions and answers from the audience. we will get there. given the complexity of the
subject, it is best to start in a structured way. let me kick it off with the first question to mustapha nabli. what happened in tunisia? why? why now? why not 10 years ago? [laughter] >> ok. i think it is going to be and for many years to come that people will try to understand this question. i don't know if there will ever be a good answer to that. let me try to give you my answer. i have been thinking about this question for a long time. since i do not have time to make my argument, let me summarize very quickly. i think there are three ingredients which came together recently which were not present
in the past and to the intensity that they have been present recently. the first ingredient is the increase corruption. the corruption of the system has reached unprecedented levels. corruption has been there for some time, at least 15 years, but the level is reached recently was unprecedented. it became well known. in the media, the knowledge was becoming much more prevalent. the impact of the corruption was in the sense of unfairness. it has created a deep sense of unfairness for the population. people were getting rich. people were getting extravagantly wealthy. there was a sense of this is not
fair. so the sense of unfairness became deeply ingrained in the population of people. that is the first ingredient that has not reached that level before. it has been for a long time. the intensity of it, the strength of it was not there. the second ingredient, which also contributed, was the nexus.ent,-education we knew this was a problem. and unemployment has been high in the middle east and north africa for a long time. we are in a demographic shift. what happened in the tunisian, the strength of the high
university educated people becoming unemployed has reached a level that was not seen before. the level of unemployment, males and females, it became so high. the thing that people did not see, prospects for improvement in the future. i know people have been asking whether the recent crisis and the impact of the global crisis was a contributor. i think it did because tunisia has seen its growth rate slow down by two points in growth over the past two years. i am sure that the prospects are not there anymore. when the country was growing near 5%, people were seeing that something was happening. when growth slows to 3.5%, you do not see the prospects
anymore. this lack of prospects, lack of hope became so high and so strong, it added to the sense of on fairness and became very strong. the third ingredient in my mind that came to be seen as important is that the prevalence of modern technology. modern technology in tunisia was pushed very late. the mobile phone, the internet. it took many years for the regime to allow internet to be introduced. more recently, tunisia has reached more than 100% pervasive pervasive rates. i think the prevalence of the modern technology has
contributed to not the starting of the events but the implications. i know there has been this whole debate about whether modern technology was the cause. it was not the cause that. it facilitated the transmission implications of the process. modern technology introduced the cost of a collective action for people to organize and to act on something. the costs became essentially zero. this was the costs for spreading information, agreeing on actions, and then moving on. so i think these ingredients have never been there with such intensity and in such a clear way as recently as now.
did they explain it happened on december 2010? probably not. it took some singular event, a singular unexpected event, to ignite the spark. the explosive mix was there. this spark was the thing that made this exploded. >> thank you. unemployment, corruption, technology. unfortunately, these factors are present in other places in the middle east. we will come back to the broader region. first, let me ask masood ahmed if he has any further thoughts on the situation. >> i think the first thing i would like to say is in addition to the fact that these factors were known for a long time, if you look around the room, you see the community of the fan
club that has existed for many, many years. on tunisia, i think there is one issue worth getting a sense. these three things were there. it was a pretty good way of organizing the framework. it is very hard to say whether the combination of them gets to a point which is a tipping point. we were here two months ago. we identified some of these things. we talked about unemployment, etc. we could not say then this is a certain number of weeks away from the first spark. in this case, one even triggered a broader thing that got magnified. what about another spark, food and commodity prices? i am not sure in my own mind that in tunisia possessive case,
high food prices or high fuel prices were a big part of the trigger. in other countries, food and fuel prices have been an approximate trigger in some cases for people to react. it is interesting to me that you did not include food and fuel price increases at all in your triggers. maybe that is because they were not that big in indonesia's. the tunisian i do not think of food and fuel prices have been a factor in tunisia. but the fact of the matter, there has been no major changes in food or fuel prices in it to an asia or in egypt -- in
tunisia or egypt. the response was different. it did not take the same route or the same outcome. my sense of this whole event -- this collapse of regimes was not -- the rise of food and fuel was not a part of it. there was certainly a sense that the cost of living was increasing, people were sensing it and so on. i followed very closely what people were saying and what people were talking about during these events. i have not seen a single time people talking about food prices or energy prices. on the other hand, people were talking about corruption and other things. it was clear that that was the issue that was center stage. >> what is the economic
situation you are confronting in tunisia right now? how is it economic governance being handled? what economic risks do you see in the short term? >> in terms of the economic risks, for now, i think the major risks we have been able to control in terms of the short- term issues. the short-term issues are the external balances, the reserves, and i think we have not seen any run on the currency. the currency is stable. transactions are continuing almost normally. we do not have immediate pressure on the external accounts. we do not have major pressures on fiscal accounts either.
the major challenge we have now is social pressures. the opening up of the political system and so on, trying to catch up with the past in terms of wages, jobs. this creates risks to the economy. broadly speaking, as we speak, [inaudible] with the exception of terrorism. -- tourism. there have been some damage of property, some factories are not functioning anymore. exports have been reduced in some sense. you are seeing a lot of factors working and export continuing and so on.
however, the lack of a deterrent to the social peace and the like, this is putting a damper on the prospects for exports over the next few months. so the major risk i see in three months or in four months, if the production does not come back, then we might face external pressures on the external side. we might face on the fiscal side as well because clearly a slowdown in economic activity is going to impact fiscal accounts, revenue, and so on. we might be squeezed between the expenditure side and squeezed on the income side. now, the good news, fortunately, we had some buffers. we do not have high debt, either
domestic or external debt. we have a reasonable level of reserves. we can hold out for a few months. if we do not return back to work, and that is what i have been saying, we really have to go back to work to start production and exports and sings so we do not follow in -- we do not fall into any of these risks. what i hope does not happen is these economic tensions are happening at the same time we are having elections. if we are having elections, and at the time the economic situation is tense, we might be in a bad situation. what we need to avoid is to have the elections taking place at
the time when there are economic pressures. >> masood ahmed, do you want to elaborate? >> i think i agree with what was laid out. i would at one point to it, which is in some ways, it would be surprising if we had all of this change and transition and you did not see in the short term some effect on the level of economic activity, some effect on the level of tourism. right now, tourism is down. i think will be a few weeks or a few months before tourists come back. there is probably some slowdown in foreign investment. so, all that will work its way through the economy.
you start from a strong point. one thing we should not be as surprised if the negative short- term impacts work their way through the system. we should expect them. we should recognize this is the result of events that have happened working their way through. the second thing that is important is on the government's side, you start from a relatively small fiscal deficit. the fiscal situation is managed. there will be some pressure to spend and there will be some
impact on lower revenues because economic activity goes down. it would not surprise me if that happened. it would surprise me if it did not. if you look at the numbers, the main point i take away from my colleagues, given the range of pressures, a broad range is still manageable. that is what i take away. i am not so focused on the fact things will be slightly worse than they were last year. that is almost inevitable. i am focused on the fact that a broad range of scenarios and things that could happen still remained manageable. >> when you look at the risks, what are they? the initial was the security situation. we have come a long way.
security has come back to almost a normal level. we're back. this second was the social front. on the social front. pressures for all kinds of things. this we're on the way to do with in this is taking its course and something that is expected, taking its course. in the next few weeks, this would be more or less [unintelligible] the third is the political. now that security is back, social problems, people will turn to politics. that is where the game will be in the next few months. people are going to be focusing on the politics and elections and things like that. that is where the risk will be. that is why my own view is, that is why we want to make sure that there is no development of the - move -- negative move.
>> in the longer term, beyond this transition over the next three or six months, do you see the transition as a risk to deepening market reforms, but do you see the possibility we go back on the market reforms, that apparently have served to nasir well over many years, or do you see the opposite? the process of democrat positiization may enable more mt reform. >> that is tricky. let me say about market reform and all the have done. market reform is attributed to
the development of corruption and that is what we need to keep in mind. a lot of the corruption that was taking place was taking place on the basis of market reforms and taking advantage of doing market reforms which was for the benefit of some. there were not really market reforms the way we think of them in the good sense. there is no doubt that some reforms have a bad name and it will not be easy to go back to them. we have to be expecting the rebuilding of trust and develop market reforms which are for the benefit -- not for the benefit of the few. whether it is about privatization or non-competitive bidding and all kinds of things. we are benefiting.
there is no doubt that there is the question of the market reforms. making sure they have social benefits. in a sense, the answer will be slowed down -- a slowdown. i'm not sure -- i do not think that going full speed if they're not public is something you want to do anyway. >> do you agree that this facilitated corruption in tunisia? >> that is where we should start from. contest ability in markets.
is the other half. the two points of the opening up of the economic and political state. the market reform, any reforms to be sustainable have to be reforms that people see the benefit flowing. if you have non-competitive privatization of state assets, that is market reform. it may be what was implemented. what i take away is we have to focus on how things are done rather than saying this is the objective and hoping it will work out. the economic reform can be
captured just as much as other kinds of reforms can be captured. in the interest of a few. i would say it is an inclusive, can testable market-based reforms which will bring broader acceptance. it will not be feasible to implement any policy anywhere. >> thank you. does tunisian need help today? -- tunisia need help today? what help do they need? >> three weeks ago, i address this question and i said the help is please do not do any
harm. i thought there was something that there were doing harm. they think agencies would downgrade the debt the next day. it concerns the time that everyone was looking for is not helpful. it does not -- it is not good. not only the cost of debt but it is because of the cost of finance. i want to make sure that international banks and financial institutions keep funding and financing trade in the usual way. the first thing, do no harm. we will have a phase where our financing needs will be higher.
for the external financing and budget. we're going to -- we are working with the world bank and imf and the african development bank and the european investment bank, eu and arab funds. we expect to have support that is higher than normal. it is something that is expected that should be dealt with and we hope to do that. we are organizing a conference by the end of march, early april to, it is not a donors' conference. we will talk about political reform as well private-sector role and public sector contribution. that is where we have to
mobilize. it is something on the donor funding search. we are expecting the private sector to come in and investment to come in to create jobs and to develop the capacity of the country. also, we expect the support of the enforcement of the political institutions and political system. there is lots of needs on that level. going from organizing elections to helping political competition take place and helping the media. needs andalo lot of we're working with our partners. >> thank you. let's widen it to the region. let me ask the question, we
talked about unemployment and technology as the factors that came together in tunisia. these factors are present to a more or less similar degree in other parts of the region. how do you see the situation in the rest of the region? i the same issues present today in egypt and in libya? how do you see the picture? >> what is clear if you look at the countries where they have been -- there has been the most social unrest, it is clear that even in those two, their differences and similarities. it is important not to take the view that there is some kind of substandard model or solution that will go around. having said that, what is the
common theme and common responses? one common theme is this sense of disillusionment and hopelessness amongst young people who are coming out of universities and colleges and schools and not being able to find a job. when we did our last outlook, we tried to put together some stuff on youth unemployment and the numbers are staggering. half of young people are working. many are unemployed and many more are not in the labour force. clearly that issue is in many countries and you look at the issue of the fact that the sense of opportunity for enterprises, small businesses, to create employment, to create businesses, their access to finance, their access to the way rules are applied, to dispute resolution are unevenly applied. you have to be connected to get
the right kind. those issues are there. the other thing that has happened already -- by stepping up the subsidies they are providing on food and fuel and housing and by providing salary increases to public employees, different kinds of fiscal measures. many countries are doing that now. they vary between half of 1% of gdp to 3% or 4% of gdp. others are stretched because the use of their fiscal space in the past two years trying to do with the global recession. they did not have that much fiscal they're trying to use that to do this. one message we have been pushing, it is the job of governments to help protect the
most vulnerable. that is not the issue. the issue is, is the best way to do it by subsidizing products or creating safety nets focussed on vulnerable people and families and giving them support? there are people here from the world bank. there is expertise to set up a good safety net. i do see across the region some common reaction mostly on the fiscal side. i see most of these reactions as the things that will help to buy time but cannot get addressed from the fundamental issues of how to create a better business environment and how to provide the curriculum for people that will get them as skills to get jobs, how to create more efficient safety net. that is the next part of the discussion. what is the policy priority that will shift the dynamic rather than buy time? it worked many
years across the region. -- you worked many years across the region. >> this goes back to my predicting what might happen and i do not think we have good signs. the ingredients i talked about our present in many countries if not most. the issue is, i was talking about the degree to which this is present and that is where you find differences. the extent of corruption, and what type. when you see, there is corruption in china. the corruption is not the kind that was in tunisia. this correction was --
corruption was at the top and concentrated and visible. the one in china is widespread and broad. create a ngs ar different chemistry. the nature of this extent of the corruption, the extent of the youth unemployment and the university graduate is different from country to country. this makes for differential impact and this is what you see on the ground. countries are not different -- acting different in the same way as to the event. what is expected is different. no doubt the ingredients are there and it is likely things will happen in different countries. to try to predict, i did not expect libya to happen the way
it happened. it was difficult. the ingredients were there. there is no doubt. i thought libya was much further down the road on this issue. the government was trying to do all kinds of things, spending, buying of people and so on but it did not work. >> does oil, a lot of oil, and this is why we were surprised. we were surprised that it exploded in tunisian given the economic performance. we were surprised it exported in libya because we thought that oil wealth would provide some insulation.
libya's oil wells are not as extensive per person as it is in the gulf and saudia arabia. does the bsa just some of the gulf countries have saudia arabia at risk? this is a pertinent question in terms of the global environment. >> i am not able to answer that question but let me say, it is not sensitive of economics. it is not -- this whole thing is about dignity. it is about people, it might be rich, you might be getting tons of money, and subsidized housing. if your dignity is not respected, something is wrong. the sense of frustration and
sense of humiliation and it is not because you are not getting, because the other guy is getting what they do not deserve. that is how has to be built into the system. and so the reading of it, the economic factors are contributors and the psychology of people and respect for people and the prospect, they have a hope in the future? the question i have been asking myself is the following. suppose that to a nation or egypt were able to grow at 8% out of china over the last 10 years and suppose this would have allowed the young people to get jobs and to see hope in the future. what if the political regimes
remain the same and the corruption? by giving hope to people, maybe the sense of dignity and frustration would not be as acute and maybe this would not have happened. try to understand better what are the contributions. the economic factor is there. if the economy was better, maybe this would not have happened. given the economy, given the performance, you get the other factors that become prominent. >> you are stressing dignity. this is taking away from economics. i get uncomfortable. >the -- is there a sense that in
some of the countries of the middle east cannot there is more dignity -- in the middle east, there is more dignity and in some countries there is less? somehow there is less dignity than areathere is in morocco? i am outside my comfort zone but i am curious. we will come back. maybe we should ask. the think there is a difference -- do you think there is a difference, a different sense of dignity? this anyone have of you? -- does anyone have a view?
>> the monarchy has more -- although it is a monarchy. then some republics in the middle east. we are dealing with harsh police states and authoritarianism is mentioned as examples, especially in tunisia. the lack of political rights and horrendous record in terms of human rights has [inaudible] >> there is a sense there is a big difference. this is my last question. let me ask you if they see
factors that, and we have and other countries less vulnerable. and the factors we have mentioned, we have not discussed. >> i do not think there are factors we have not mentioned. one thing we have not yet said which is worth saying is that, no matter where you are on the scheme of comparison on the different sources of vulnerability, it is an interesting discussion. wherever you happen to be, what are the things you need to do to make yourself less vulnerable? the key issue is how often do these themes crop up?
my corte away is the should be a bit of a wake-up call for every wone. you have to act on trying to provide a better business environment so you can accelerate growth. it is an interesting question. whether -- why has this region lagrone slower than most developing countries for so long? the reason is because of a variation -- despite the variation, most have not got the business environment that creates productivity and the skill set is not adapted to the kinds of jobs they need and that is the agenda in the way we need to be moving. >> i do not think we should leave it.
this is outside my comfort zone and yours. international dimension is not there. the view of the after september 11, 2001 and all the western and iraq war and palestine war, all these things, we have not talked about them. we're not qualified. we should keep in mind this is part of the dignity issue. what frustration and humiliation -- the frustration and humiliation issue. do not me move and we have a lot of time because i want to turn it over to the audience. let me ask, what implications do
you see for the global economy out of this? what implications is the imf concerned about with regard to oil, food prices, trade, and listing the channels through which these have been prevented. financial stability, migration, how do you see it? >> all those are channels. some are more important and others are different. the big issue in everybody's mind right now is what does this mean for the price of oil. if you look at it, until things started in libya, the impact on the price of oil is relatively modest. i think people did not see that. even now, the impact of what is happening is modest. in the short run, there are
models used to capacity that can be brought particularly from saudi arabia. if there was a spike, the world economy can sustain that. the global prices are a reflection of the economy. this is concern about short-term supply and security issues. if it is not sustained, the world economy can do with that without a big impact. the other issue which had been on people's minds, when egypt came on stream and there was a question about whether this would disrupt trade through the suez canal. you do not see that through the markets. i think as it is hard for us to predict what will happen in
individual countries, it is hard to predict the consequences -- what the consequences are for the economy, that impact on the world economy has been relatively contained. mustafa, you have any collaboration's? -- elaborations. italians have been up in arms about migrants coming over from the hundreds or thousands from tunisia. anything else you want to tell us about the implications? >> if you go back to the 60's and 70's and early 70's, one of the methods was migration.
this is the way they growth and labor force was absorbed in the demand for creating jobs what's -- was much smaller. --know it is the mid-70's the migration channel has been close to a large extent. even though it has continued in many different forms. we have been arguing for the last many years and some of our friends with and others, it is an important one for europe and north africa. that is part of the overall corporation agenda. you cannot up and trade and say we are trading and opened but trade for those you do or don't like. movement of people is not on the table. in -- people who do not buy
that. it is part of the dignity. the dignity issue, people go and queue for visa. it is humiliating. i worked for the world bank and i had to queue for a visa. this is humiliating for any person. people take -- they go through boats and all kinds of ways because you block the legal and organized way. it is understandable. the europeans have not been able to face the issue. i think it is part of the story and they have to face the issue and do with migration as an
issue at a concern and it has to be dealt with. more important, what -- in the interest of europe, we have looked at the numbers and these are good maps in terms of demographics. europe absorber significant numbers of laborers from africa. it is a positive sum game. it is not a negative sum game. this has been a no problem, it is not on the table. it has been put off. it should be on the table. >> let me ask my last question about the world. which is, what lessons from this episode should be drawn by the
u.s., the eu, the imf, the world bank, are these governments and institutions in part to blame for the current situation, for buttressing autocratic and corrupt regimes? for so long? >> i draw lessons for myself and the imf where work. the lesson is the one we talked about earlier. even though as a cooperative institution, we have to work with 187 countries and each organizes itself to a rally. i do not think that the imf, and i will strain and make a comment
about the world right. they should not be in the business of operating a single view on how the world should organize itself politically. we do need to be doing -- [no audio] for economic reforms to be sustainable, they have to be seen, to be inclusive, and to offer everyone an opportunity to participate. to talk about not just average numbers on growth rate, tunisian hat among the highest per capita growth rate. to also began to talk about how that growth is being shared and to talk about governance issues in ways you begin to point out if people do not have access to property rights or dispute
resolution or finance regardless of their connections, those are important sources of vulnerability. i come back to it from the route of the imf which is macroeconomics, sustainability, and growth. without these things, you cannot sustain this. >> we have been part of missions as it happens with [unintelligible] to libya and tunisia, to egypt, helping these governments manage the situation. what do you think? >> i will [unintelligible]
view end of the government's does not play, we cannot do anything. in tunisia, there was no way you could have a survey on corruption and get any data. it was not allowed. if you talk about corruption, how do you know, who issues [unintelligible] and these are just rumors. international solutions -- they are stuck. they are stuck in that position trying to do something about this and they could not. i do not -- i would never hold
them responsible. they are not responsible. it is a matter of what can they do not to be seen as like they're not aware and they are not building up into their business? they have some margins to operate. you can present your case and her talk about this without being seen as too much in sensitive or unaware. sometimes they talk like things are not there. that is where they go wrong. they're not responsible for what is happening. and they are seen as [unintelligible] >> they have to do their job for their political masters. they have to show more awareness. then they have shown in the past. all right.
any questions or comments from the audience? if you make comments, please keep them brief and recognize yourself and wait for the microphone. >> thank you. i am battalion and i do not considered to nation a foreign country. there is a bridge between europe and africa. that is why i am asking you something. we tend to concede their part of the past. the revolution is part of the uprising. i have the feeling that the situation you have described about the young people in teenager is part of the sizes of all the young people in europe and in tunisia. when you have a 25% graduates
between 25 and 35, this is shocking. between europe and to nation. i do not think the answer to why in tunisia is part of the uprising in the arab world. this part of the uprising in the so-called developed world. i am a baby boomer as are you. we were sure to be better than our parents. this generation is sure to be worse than our generation. this is a common point between the italian, french, and tunisian. it is not part of the tribe. it is different. >> thank you. threel twake two or
comments and come back. the gentleman back there. ahead and the gentleman at the back. >> thank you. i was here in december and in january and you know what i said. there was going to be an uprising in not africa and the political class will be slaughtered. people ask how did you know? let me say this. your comfort zone is in what you have been talking about. i am the one who was involved in decolonization in africa. i agree with you, human dignity. the perception of unfairness is what fuelled this. we studied -- the african
political culture for the women and young to leave it. >> thank you. >> i have a question. both of you identify the political system as a key factor and you define issues of dignity and justice. in all these transitions, there is always an issue of how much to allow those who were in power and in tunisia, there seems to be [unintelligible] to what they should be allowed to play any role. could you give some insight into the review of how there will be
organized and how this process is likely to evolve? >> good. mustafa, mahsoud, do you want to take the questions? >> on the crisis, it is true. the question is, why do you have an uprising which leads to the collapse of the regime in tunisia and you do not have it in belgium or italy? that is the question. there is no doubt that there is this problem with youth and the aspirations and we have a problem here that you have an uprising which led to collapse of a strong political regime. that is what i tried to expand which is different than what is in europe.
in terms of the players, all the political players, in tunisia, it is subject to debate. i can i give you an answer to that. my sense is that the broad consensus is there. there has been a decision that has to go to court and is of the old party, the major governing party. there is a broad consensus this is -- and i have moved to make. this structure would not be allowed in the future. this does not mean that the people are going to be completely pushed out, and we see them trying to create a new
organization and new parties and that is likely to take place. this is pulling itself out and presumably, some of this will be integrated. subject to some of the illegal things in some people are implicated in corruption and violence, they have to be subject to legal processes. people who are regular members and to have a clean slate -- and who have a clean slate, they will continue to be part of the system. >> nothing to add. >> we will broaden the question. we are in live television in a couple of places. you should bear in mind, depending -- on how rude you
want to be. please introduce yourself. >> i am pleased to work with you at the world bank. my question is the fact you have not said anything about the army. in many ways in some of the societies, the army is one of the few institutions that is functioning. we're having a dramatic example of two countries where the army plays a key role in the collapse of the regime. we do not fully -- i do not fully understand how. we are seeing in libya what is happening when that mitigating factor is not there. i wonder if you can speculate on especially in the case of
tunisia, what is going to happen if this and -- the uneven results are that the army is compensated or rewarded for its role. and contributes to less. that is something that has been troubling me. that says to me that because of what was said about dignity which i completely agree, we should learn as operational -- as institutions to operate outside our countrcomfort zone. it is comfortable but blinding in the sense that we missed a lot -- i am happy to hear what you say and the economy is being rehabilitated but it is late. if you think of the lack of
operating outside our comfort zone has done in africa, i am thinking about sub-saharan africa. as a field for the next explosions. maybe technology is not there is much but the other two factors that was mentioned, corruption and unemployment of youth is there as well. the question is, you have not talked in the world about sub- saharan africa which we too often forget. that is another place where something is likely to happen. now that the tunisians have done it and the egyptians have done it, you have in a sense, the spark is there for other countries. you do not have to have it generated from within. it can be generated from outside. i wonder what this will mean in terms of what is happening in places like yemen, or even
jordan. i would like to hear your views. >> you had a question. please introduce yourself. >> thank you. i was delighted to hear the exchange especially in my recollection of the experience of negotiation. i would like to say that the fundamentals are fine and we should not worry. there would say there are [unintelligible] and it is healthy. it is a good opportunity to hear that. i listened carefully to the arguments of my former professor and i was delighted in
the spirit of the revolution to add things. do not have much to add. i wanted to iterate i emphasize the dignity that was said. we have to remember that the spark started with tunisia, the himself on fire because you a slap in the face. -- he was slapped in the face. now that you are saying it, i am still speaking. that fear is important to say again, because there is on fear that -- no fear that ist is not
doable. i think they would have doubted. people would have thought that these people will live and die and in this aspect, there was one question i think was not asked. how did we allow this to happen for all these years? economy and the supply and demand side, it was the demand side that was missing. it is manna culpa -- mea culpa. i thought the generation is not one you could count on but in terms of better and more courageous, i am. would be almost unthinkable to think this would be the same.
it will not be the same. >> thank you. >> i am edith wilson. i wish you well, you and your colleagues have an important job. i want to pose the question. [unintelligible] on economic issues. i would like to hear more about from the central bank or your work on these demographic issues. i have been watching as these young people, five years ago [inaudible] one of the demographic issues
that are in front of the governments. second, we need to cut off the internet. it was a former economic suicide. i do not know what you think about that sort of action. finland which has decided that access to the internet is in the public good and made it free across the country, should a country like tunisia which is trying to do something different and stimulate its economy, should they do what finland has done? >> very nice question, i have to say. do you want to go first? >> they are difficult questions. i will not talk about the army.
[applause] [laughter] it is a good question but i do not have much to say about it. in terms of, samir asked a very tough question. how did we allow this to happen? we are responsible. that is not for today. for another day. the demographics question, tunisia is one of the countries in terms of demographics ahead of the curve in terms of transition. it is a country where the demographic transition has a chance to most and we are at the stage where population growth
has -- it is less than 1%. what is important, the growth of the labor force is slowing down. is going to slow down in the next 10 years, 20 years. we breathing space. the labor market will weaken. that gives us room and at the same time, a gives -- it gives the democratic process a better chance because, if you have the young population which is educated, there will be the active one in the political process, that gives you some confidence that the democratic process will be possibly
stronger and more robust than otherwise. if you have the population we're it is under. if the meeting was 27 or so, or 17, it will be a different story. the movement of the distribution in terms is good for democracy. that is my guess. internet access, as i said, the delayed internet action -- they delayed internet action as long as they could and exploded. one of the things that was done allowed access that is relatively low cost. they allowed access at very low costs of people were able to access the internet. there were applying something similar but not quite.
it is not available anywhere -- everywhere. they were controlled. the other things that were controlled. i thought it is one of the major ingredients that made this possible in terms of speed of organization, the speed of action. people were able to connect and so on. it did not work. the tunisian regime or it egyptian, they tried to interrupt the internet and so on. you know the story. they failed. >> should we enshrine the access to facebook as a fundamental human right? >> in addition, the other thing
i would doubt on that point is -- add is i am more comfortable with getting rid of the obstacles that what people have access then to have some grand project. to have some state managed free access for everyone. in some ways, given the capacity to my getting out of the way and letting it happen which is sort of what is happening in many countries is a more practical way of getting more people connected. one of the points of demographics which is to nasir is ahead of the curve, that is the point. there are countries that are behind them. i do worry about the fact that going forward, the escape valve, the pressure valve which was immigration not only to europe, but if you look at the last 10 years, the big boom in 10 years
is within the region. into the gcc countries. you have remittances moving around in the region. going forward, one of the issues is to see whether you have the same rate of growth of immigration. two oil exporters and other countries. even if the numbers stay high, you do not have the incremental pressure release that was happening over the last decade. we need to look at the migration issue there as well. i think it is a terrific topic for a different discussion which we should, i am sure you would want to organize. which is not only whether instant -- international
institutions should go beyond their comfort zone, but if so, how you build a political consensus and legitimacy? legitimacy of institutions and what they do is as important as their technical competence and building that framework of political legitimacy, for them to take a view of these things in a way that everyone except is fair and objective and balanced, is not a trivial task. that is what i think what we're guest: they cannot speak about the army, and i can speak about the army, but i do not know anything about it. i will say that i suspect there is a real issue there, a real study to be made of the army for some reason becoming a major